SavorPairs With Pairs Well With: Indian Food

 Pairs Well With: Indian Food

As someone who loves Indian food and wine, I can tell you that sometimes pairing the two is not easy. When I first started learning how to pair wines, Indian food stumped me. This cuisine has so many spices and is so complex that sometimes it can be hard to match perfectly. However, over time I learned the pairing secrets I will now share with you! Indian cuisine is celebrated for its vibrant flavors, aromatic spices, and diverse dishes. From the fiery heat of a vindaloo to creamy butter chicken, the world of Indian food awaits exploring. To enhance your dining experience, I’ve curated a list of wines, including some lesser-known varieties, that pair exceptionally well with Indian dishes. Check it out below!

Chardonnay & Butter Chicken

With its crisp acidity and subtle hints of oak, Chardonnay is a versatile choice to accompany Indian cuisine. It pairs wonderfully with creamy dishes like butter chicken, chicken korma, or paneer tikka. The wine’s buttery notes complement the richness of these dishes, creating a harmonious balance.

Riesling & Chicken Vindaloo

For those who enjoy the spicy kick of Indian food, a slightly sweet Riesling can be a delightful partner. This wine’s sweetness counteracts the heat in dishes such as chicken vindaloo or lamb rogan josh, offering a refreshing contrast while enhancing the flavors of the spices.

Syrah/Shiraz & Spicy Biryanis

Syrah or Shiraz wines, known for their bold and robust character, are an excellent match for dishes with intense flavors. Pair a Syrah with lamb kebabs, spicy biryanis, or lamb saag. Let the wine’s dark fruit, peppery notes, and structure complement the depth of Indian spices. 

Sauvignon Blanc & Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer is my favorite Indian dish with hefty garlic, ginger, and lemon flavors. The bright acidity, grassy notes, and citrus of Sauvignon Blanc make it an ideal choice to cut through the richness of Indian curries and tandoori dishes. You should also try it with chicken tikka masala. It balances the creamy textures and enhances the herbaceous flavors.

Gewürztraminer & Chicken biryani, Prawn Curry, Vegetable Korma

Gewürztraminer’s floral and exotic fruit aromas make it a perfect companion for Indian dishes with aromatic spices. It pairs exceptionally well with chicken biryani, prawn curry, or vegetable korma. The wine’s sweetness complements the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

Tannat & Tandoori Lamb

Tannat is a less common but fascinating choice for pairing with Indian food. It’s known for its bold tannins, dryness, and dark fruit flavors. For this wine, you need a dish that packs a lot of punch. It pairs exceptionally well with spicy vindaloo, tandoori lamb, and aloo gobi, adding depth to the experience. However, my favorite pairing is Tandoori Lamb because its rich and fatty gristle allows Tannat to take a backseat. This pairing will have you going back and forth between the wine and food – you won’t be able to decide which is better! 

Viognier & Dal Makhani

Viognier is a white wine with flavors of tangerines, mangos, honeysuckle, and cloves. It offers a delightful combination for rich and creamy dishes like tikka masala, bhindi masala, and dal makhani. Its floral notes and full-bodied texture provide a pleasant contrast. Since Dal often has cloves and nutmeg spices added to it, this is a perfect pairing. 

Aglianico & Palak Paneer

Aglianico is a bold and complex red wine. It pairs wonderfully with spicier dishes like rogan josh, palak paneer, and tandoori chicken. Its dark fruit and earthy notes complement the bold spices of Indian cuisine.

Furmint & Malai Kofta or Goan Fish Curry 

Furmint, an intriguing white wine with a touch of sweetness, enhances the flavors of dishes like malai kofta, Goan fish curry, and baingan bharta. Its acidity and minerality provide a refreshing balance.

Mencia & Lamb Kebabs 

Mencia, a lesser-known red wine, is versatile for dishes like kebabs, biryani, and dhokla. Its acidity and red fruit notes like pomegranate and sour cherry add an exciting dimension to these dishes that tend to be on the heavier side. 

The beauty of pairing wine with Indian food lies in the endless possibilities and the chance to experiment with different flavor combinations. Whether you prefer well-known varieties or seek to explore less common options, there’s a wine that can elevate your Indian dining experience. So, the next time you sit down to enjoy a flavorful Indian meal, consider one of these wine options. Also, if you like to experiment with cooking, try making some of the recipes on this site. She has incredible and authentic Indian recipes that I love to try! My two favorites are the One Pot Butter Chicken dish and the Aloo Palak! Cheers to this wonderful cuisine! 

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