Pairing the right dishes with the right wine can make the difference in your overall dining experience. A red wine that shines with lamb will not blend as well with spicy fish or braised steak.
When youâre looking at a hot dish or a dish with a little bit of heat, youâre better off choosing a spicy red wine. This offers a complimentary flavour which enhances the meal instead of clashing with them. Here is some more information about the better options available.
The Challenges of Spicy Food
When it comes to pairing wines, spicy foods can create a unique challenge, especially when you prefer a solid red wine over a white overly sweet wine. Spicy goods have unique flavour layers that need to be considered, but itâs easy for a wine to clash with spicy meals without being too overpowering or bitter. An intense wine would detract with the wine and the overall meal.
You can address the challenges of pairing wine head on. This is crucial to being able to create a good pairing that can enhance the meal experience. I had one good pairing not too long ago, by using the advice when pairing a crisp Zinfandel with an Indian takeaway in Loughborough when i was visiting.
What You Should Avoid
Generally, when pairing a spicy hot dish with red wine, you want to avoid wine that has a high alcohol content and any red wine that is aged in oak. If you were going to drink a standalone wine, these things are not an issue. However, if a wine has either of these two characteristics they will be an overpowering, or generally poor, pairing for a spicy curry dish.
The best red wine for this type of meal would be aromatic. The wine should be fruity, which will complement the spices in the dish. In some cases, an off-dry wine can create a good contrast. Generally, a light and crisp wine are what you should look for, in comparison to the main body of red wines out there.
Some Excellent Suggestions
A red wine following the previous sections doâs and donâts will do fine in many cases. However, if you need to look at the basic types or names. The following wines are a great place to begin your search.
Beaujolais are heavily fruited red wines that can pair with spicy foods. Youâre more likely to find a great Zinfandel or Merlot, as opposed to a basic Cabernet Sauvignon. If the dish tastes spicy rather than smoky, it may be worth looking at a moderate Malbec selection to pair with your meal.
Vouvray, Viognier, and Albarino are another example of good red wines. These wines are known for being tannin-heavy, or too strong. They often pair well with spicy dishes. These are great starting points. While these make a good choice, you still need to look for ones that are heavy on the fruity flavour and light on the alcohol, so that you get a pairing you can enjoy.
You must do a little research and follow some basic rules which can help you find the right red wine to pair with curry dishes that range from very mild to extremely spicy.