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What Wine with Indian Food?

wine with indian foodAs with all good wine pairings, choosing the best wines to pair with Indian food has proved to be simply a delicate matter of balance. Knowing which wines that will compliment the natural spiciness of Indian dishes will go a long way in enhancing the flavor and adding to your enjoyment.

The difficulty of pairing wine with Indian food is, of course, the riot of other flavors found on the menu. Finding the right match takes careful consideration when pairing wines with dishes that range from spicy to creamy to everything in between.

(For vindaloo fans who like their Indian food five-alarm hot - it might be time to consider a nice, cold beer!)

Most wine experts consider the most popular dishes offered up in Indian restaurants, such as Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Tikka Masala or Kadhai Panner -- and plan the wine around these typically spicy dishes.

Happily, there are a good handful of wines that strike just the right balance of tannin and alcohol, fruit, and acidity to hold their own against these formidable dishes. Among the reds, good choices might include an all-purpose Cote du Rhone (France's favorite table wine.)

Among the whites, be careful to steer clear of overly oaky wines such as chardonnay, but opt instead for the more balanced flavors of fruit and acidity found in a German Riesling, Gewürztraminer or a Pinot Gris. In fact, some Indian food fans suggest that a dry Pinot Gris is THE ONLY wine that should be paired with most Indian dishes, and that no other wine works quite as well!

For creamy cuisine such as in Malai dishes (malai means "cream" and is incorporated most often in North Indian dishes) the experts advise to always go for the bubbly. The aeration and slight acidity of sparking wine have proven to give a "lift" to most Indian dishes that have heavy sauces at their base. For a special treat, why not even try champagne?

Also don't overlook the surprising versatility of a nice, dry Rosé. The heady combination of fruit and berries with the acidity of a lighter white makes rose a great match with a wide range of dishes from fish curry to lamb.


also see -> What Wine with Turkey? | What Wine with Sushi?

What Wine to Serve with Lamb

More about wine & Indian food around the Web:

The secrets of matching Indian food with wine - This great resource, archived from the San Francisco Chronicle Pairing Guide, and has become the 'bible' on the topic with great suggestions for specific dishes as well as related recipes.

Pairing Wine with Indian Cuisine - Expert times and suggested wines that go especially well with spicy dishes.

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