Which Wines with Spicy Food?
A friend recently pointed out that spicy food by its very nature will overpower
the delicate flavour of a fine wine. He said the traditional curry and beer
combo works wonderfully and it was a daft idea to spoil it... One Chicken
Pasanda and a bottle of Riesling later, he had changed his tune completely.
Wine and spice work brilliantly if you follow a simple rule.
Oaks and tannins ruin a good curry. Stay away from anything aged in Oak barrels
and stay away from Reds with high tannin content.
A bottle of Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc will
all work with almost any spicy dish.
Viognier goes particularly well with Thai food. The herbal notes of the voigner
grape add complexity.
Daryl kindly emailed us to say that "A California Zin will work wonderfully
with most asian fare… I find the fruit and alcohol work well with the
sugar and spice."
If you are looking to drink a red wine, then a low tannin Chianti or Merlot
are fantastic with rich earthy dishes such as the wonderful curries of the
An additional benefit of wine with spicy food is that the alcohol washes
the chilli into the toungue making your spicy food slightly more intense than
The biggest surprise came last night when my wife opened a bottle of champagne
to try with a Goanese Curry. In a word, it was fantastic. This was a real
revelation. The curry had no sweetness and the bottle of Moet et Chandon complemented
it superbly. Do try any sparking wine with a curry.
There is a new Portuguese rose called Pink Elephant from Estremadura that
is being marketed as having been specifically designed to match spicy foods.
It is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and offers an easy relationships between sweetness
and the sharpness needed to cut against a curry. Available for around a fiver
from supermarkets (in the UK) .
Does anyone have any suggestions
about wine with spicy foods from the americas or africa?