One of the most renowned wine maker, Robert Mondavi, once said, ” Making wine is a skill, but making fine wine is an art”. So true!
A fine wine is a symbol of sophistication and finesse. Pair it with appropriate and delicious food and voila! You have a success story! If “nosing” and “tasting” are part of the wine story, then pairing it appropriately with different cuisines and different courses, is equally important. Trying to sip a Rose wine with the fish course might be a disaster but have your Rose with a Caramel Custard and you have a perfect finale to your evening.
So, when you think of wine and food pairings, immediately one tends to think of various cuisines like French, Italian, Japanese etc. But “Indian” cuisine does not really appear on that list. Well, wine experts and wine connoisseurs are pretty particular about the fact that spicy, robust and strong foods can destroy the delicate flavors, notes and aromas of a fine wine. But Indian food is just that – robust, heavy and spicy. So does it mean it can never be enjoyed with a glass of wine? Do lovers of India cuisine need to chug beers only??
Indian Food with Wines
I am neither an expert nor a connoisseur but I love wines and I have tried quite a few of them with Indian food – believe it or not, some were super successful while some were disasters!
A suggestion - Avoid red wines with this cuisine because the food is spicy and robust. Red wines are also robust and strong. Too much of the same thing will confuse your taste buds! At the same time, if you are eating some appetizers which are straight from the Tandoor (clay oven), go ahead – enjoy the reds!
Courtesy – Wine Society of India, http://wsi.indiatimes.com/Pairing-Food-Wine/Wine-Indian-cuisine/articleshow/4609103.cms
Gewurztraminer is a delicious grape and its white wine is apt for Indian cuisine. Whether it is a light appetizer like Paneer Tikka or a heavy entree like Chicken Kashmiri or Prawn Curry, this wine is smooth, aromatic and medium bodied. Most of the new world wines like Riesling from Australia, Chenin Blanc from New Zeland etc. go surprisingly well with Indian cuisine. My personal favorite is Robert Mondavi`s Sauvignon Blanc which goes best with tomato based gravy and white meat dishes.
Pairing Indian desserts with wines is a little more tricky because here the dynamics change – it is not just sweet instead of spicy but most of the Indian desserts are dairy based. Well, avoid pairing wine but if you must, a nice port wine is best suited. The crispness cuts across the sweet and “milky” flavors of the desserts.
Fruity Notes to end with
Gastronomical delight is all about your eyes, nose and tongue! Do not hesitate to try out new wines and be a little creative – you never know what might appeal to your taste buds!!