Indian food and wine might not be as popular as other wine pairings. However, if the pairing is what you fancy, you come to the right place. We are here to give you a few suggestions on what wine goes with Indian foods.
Is Indian Food and Wine a Great Pairing?
Indian food and wine might be an unlikely combination. However, the two have proven themselves to be excellent pairs. The savory and full of spices cuisine from India deserves a superb glass of wine.
Although it’s easy to pair the delicious spices of Indian food with a dry white wine, it still needs a wide array of research. Although this pairing is incredible with spicy tikka masala or curry, Indian food has diverse flavors.
Much like any cuisine, Indian foods are teeming with different flavors and tastes. But, you don’t have to worry! We will give you an in-depth guide with other wines and Indian food combo.
Wine can give your Indian food a hint of sweetness and fruity flavor. It’s an excellent accompaniment and palate cleanser, as some popular Indian food can be full of spices. The sweeter wines can also provide a balancing flavor for the herbs and spices of Indian cuisine.
6 Best Wines with Indian food
Indian food is ripe with incredible flavors of different herbs and spices, so finding the perfect wine can be challenging. Curry dishes are especially prevalent in Indian cuisine.
Dishes such as steak or confit provide exact matches. So, choosing the wine for them is more manageable.
Although it might be hard to find the wine for your Indian food, there are some selections you can choose from, such as:
1. Pinot Noir
The first on the list is Pinot Noir. This medium-bodied red wine is an excellent fit for many Indian Chicken dishes. Pinot Noir is the perfect accompaniment if you love tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala.
This red wine is high in tannins and provides a dry yet fruity flavor. The high number of tannins in the wine will help break down the fats from the chicken or meat.
Pinot Noir is the best wine selection if you eat Indian food with many herbs and spices. It will provide a robust and bold flavor yet is easy to drink and accessible. It also resets the palate as you take another bite of the food.
Fatty meats such as chicken, lamb, and beef will also go well with red wine like Pinot Noir. It can break down fats and produce more potent and pure meat flavors.
Riesling with an off-dry finish can provide great flavors with flavorful Indian food. This white wine has a sweet and fruity flavor that can go along with Paneer Tikka or Pani Puri.
Riesling is a bit sweeter than other wines, so that it can go along with more savory dishes. Curry dishes are the ultimate companion for this wine as it’s bursting with citrus and sweet flavors.
As this wine is lower in tannins than Pinot Noir, vegetable dishes such as Chana Masala provides a great selection. It’s not as recommended for meat dishes as Riesling has a limited amount of tannins to combine with the fats.
It might be a surprise, but this wine can accompany sweets and desserts from Indian cuisine. Most white wine has a fruity and sweet flavor, so it can blend well with Kaju Katli or Ras Malai.
Shiraz is a type of red wine, much like Pinot Noir. Most of the time, it’s a medium to full-bodied texture with robust, bold flavors. Hints of black fruits such as plum and blackberries are not uncommon when drinking this wine.
If you love the bold flavors of red wine, Shiraz is an excellent option. It’s an ideal accompaniment to Indian dishes with fewer herbs and spices. Dishes such as Matar Kachori and Aloo Matar Tikki are excellent choices.
By choosing a dish with fewer flavors and a strong aroma, you can let the boldness of Shiraz shine through.
4. Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are among the top white wine for Indian food. White wines provide a clean and sweet taste to any Indian accompaniment. It also has hints of tropical fruits and lime, perfect for the earthy flavors of Indian cuisine.
It also helps that much of Indian food has herbs and spices such as turmeric, cumin, and curry. The slight acidity and citrusy flavors from the Sauvignon Blanc complement it nicely.
Sauvignon Blanc is best with some Malai Kofta or Saag Paneer. These delicious and flavorful dishes will mix well with the sweeter taste of the wine.
The citrus flavors from the wine also complement seafood dishes. The hint of lime can lessen the fishiness of prawns and squid.
If you want the best white wine for spicy Indian dishes, Gewurztraminer might be the one for you. This aromatic wine is ripe with hints of tropical flavors and sweetness.
This white wine from Germany is known for being the best accompaniment to spicy dishes. This is due to the intense fruitiness and sweet flavors of the wine. So, if Indian food has some curry and other spicy herbs, this is the best wine to pair it with.
Champagne offers a slightly acidic and bubbly twist to any of your meals. This sparkling wine can accompany any vegetarian and potato Indian dishes.
It provides a sweet and smooth texture that is best with fewer herbs and spices. Meat dishes are also not recommended with champagne as it has fewer tannins.
Vegetables such as potatoes have an excellent earthy flavor that can counterbalance the fruitiness of champagne. It can create an opposite blend with its acidic nature.
How to Know Which Wine is Best with Your Indian Food?
Finding the best wine for your Indian food can be pretty daunting. Indian cuisine has various flavors and spices that may not go well with your wine. With that said, there are some steps to know which is the best wine for you.
By keeping these wine tips in mind, you can easily pair any Indian dishes with your wine.
Check for the Wine’s Acidity
A great rule to remember is that the higher the acidity of the wine, the higher the fat of the food. High acidity is a sign that the wine is teeming with tannins. This substance will help break down the fat from your food leading to pure flavors.
If you want a more acidic wine, opt for the reds such as Pinot Noir. Red wines tend to be more acidic and have more tannins in them.
White wines, on the other hand, also have acidity. However, it’s much lower than the red ones. The different amount of acid is due to the different Vitis vinifera in the wine.
Remember that High Tannins is Best with Meat
Since Indian cuisine has a lot of vegetarian dishes, it leads to a more flexible amount of wine to choose from. Wine favorites such as steak, reds, whites, and sparkling wines can accompany your Indian food.
With that said, you should never forget that high tannins are best with meat. Most common Indian food uses white chicken, lamb, and beef cuts. Red wines are the best for these dishes as they offer the highest tannins.
Indian cuisine also offers a wide variety of vegetables and vegetarian dishes. With these types of foods, you can choose from more variety, such as white and sparkling wines.
Benefits of Pairing Wine with Indian Food
Now that we know the best candidates to go along with Indian food, what are the benefits of doing it? Indian cuisine has beverages to accompany its food, so why opt for the foreign wine varieties?
Although these two are unlikely partners, wines can offer a different strike of flavors to well-known Indian dishes. It can also elevate your dining experience through its rich and bold flavors.
Excellent Palate Cleanser
Wine with bold flavors is excellent as a palate cleanser. Most Indian food has a strong flavor from the different spices. The flavors can overwhelm your palate, leading you not to taste the exquisite flavors of the food.
Wine can help with this problem. The drink is an excellent palate cleanser as the strong acids can reset and clean out your taste receptors. A clean palate can elevate your dining experience by tasting the pure flavors of the dish.
Good for Spicy Dishes
Finding the best beverage for spicy dishes can be tricky. They often revolve around milk or other creamy drinks. However, wine can provide an excellent option if you are not too hot for milk.
Wines are good for spicy dishes, mainly white wines. The aroma and acid can blend and mitigate the spicy flavors of the food.
Although an unlikely pairing, we hope this guide on what wine goes with Indian food showcase that this two can blend well together. This list provides an excellent recommendation whether you love white, red, or sparkling wines.