Who said that only European dishes go well with wines? You may think that only dishes like Neapolitan pastas and Provencal bouillabaisse are paired with wines such as Bourdeaux or Malbec. That, unfortunately, is an old gastronomical myth that should be cast aside. In fact, with a discriminating palate, a knack for experimenting with flavours, and a strong tolerance to alcohol, you can pair wine with any type of cuisine—and Indian cuisine is no exception to this. With a wild mix of flavours and spices, experimenting with Indian cuisines is the perfect way to hone your wine pairing skills. And what dish is more prominent than a traditional curry? If you think that curry is difficult to pair with alcohol, then you might want to read the following steps we have provided.
Spiced up dishes like curry? No problem.
Strong, spicy, meaty: these are the characteristics of an authentic Indian curry. The combination of different spices, the acrid taste of the lamb, the scorching feeling of chilies in your mouth—an authentic curry is enough to make you sweat because of spices in some dishes. One canon in wine pairing is that spicy dishes should be consumed with sweet wines. “A general rule of thumb has always been to move toward a sweeter wine when serving spicy food,” said Chef Eric Ripert. For curries, Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 3 Awardee and foodie Chie Gatchalian recommended Riesling, a sweet wine that is a perfect match for the intensity of the curry. “”If you’re serving [Indian] food or anything that has an intense spice, go with the sweet Riesling. The sweetness balances the spice,” she said during a Marks and Spencer wine event in the Philippines.
To be safe, go with beer
“Among Asian cuisines, Indian food probably has the greatest notoriety for being hard to match with wine. Its complex layering of spices and chilis makes for a tricky challenge,” wrote Jon Bonne and Olivia Wu in an article published in SFGate. Because curry relies on complex spicy flavours and pungent seasoning, beer is the safest bet with this dish.
“Let’s begin with the obvious: Beer makes for an excellent pairing with most Indian food. (Which beer, and which food, is grist for another day.) If that’s your preference, go with it. Whiskey, as enjoyed in India with hors d’oeuvres, is fine, too,” they wrote.