With all the mouth-watering flavors of Indian foods, which beverages do the best job to accompany or further enhance the delicious flavors of Indian cuisine? With the range of Indian dishes from sweet to spicy, it is important that you pair up just the right wine or beer with your dish. Just keep a few tips in mind and you will be on your way to fully enjoying your Indian meal!
Nothing is better than to cool off your taste buds while eating authentic Indian dishes than Indian beer! With delicious Indian cuisine being plated on beautiful square dinnerware, you’re thinking, “Really a beer and not a glass of fine wine?” It is true; beer is a perfect match with Indian cuisine. The overall opinion is that lagers are a perfect pairing with the spices that heat up some Indian dishes. Some delicious Indian beers include: Kingfisher, Jhoom, Taj Mahal, Maharaja Premium Lager, and Dansberg. However, there is one beer that stands out from the rest, Hitachino Nest Beer-Ginger Brew. This brew is a ginger beer, which has a subtle sweetness to it. Hitachino Nest Beer-Ginger Brew is best when paired up with a spicy curry dish!
With regards to which wines compliment Indian cuisine, the traditional standard “rules” should be thrown out the window and completely ignored. “Rules” such as white wines go best with chicken and red wines go best with beef. Indian food has a complex mixture of spices woven throughout their dishes and this is how we will be pairing wines with Indian dishes, based on the flavor of the dish, not what the dish consists of. Remember, you do not want to a have powerful tasting wine, as it may overshadow the dish itself. While a ros? compliments a wide range of Indian dishes, there are a few wines that do compliment specific Indian dishes.
A Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect compliment to almost any Indian dish. The grapes typically used to make this wine are naturally high in acidity and compliment spicy Indian dish quite well. You would want a lighter-bodied wine (one with a low alcohol content) served with Indian cuisine as you would not want to increase the heat from the dish, which high amounts of alcohol tend to do. The aroma and crispness of a Sauvignon Blanc compliments the following dishes quite well: chicken curry, pakoras, tandoori machchi (tandoor grilled monkfish tail with coconut rice), and samosas. So, find the wine bottle opener, your fine dinnerware and serve up one of these specialty dishes.
Gewürz actually means spice and if you want to pair a Gewürztraminer up with other spices you may find in Indian cuisine, you are on the right track. Typically, this wine smells like cooking spices such as cinnamon and ginger, yet can have a bit of sweetness to it as well. As long as the Gewürztraminer is a crisp, dry version it will work well with spicy Indian dishes.
Most people would not pair red wine with Indian meals at all. However, a Syrah would work beautifully with quite a few Indian dishes. A Syrah is a medium to full bodied red wine that can have a slight peppery taste, which compliments dishes such as Lamb in a Creamy Curry Sauce.
Gone are the days when one would think alcohol and an Indian meal lack synergy. As you can see, knowing which Indian spices are used, makes it easier to pair up a wine or beer for that matter, to compliment the meal brilliantly. Best of both worlds, I’d say! Which wines do you normally go for with your Indian meal. Share with us and we can create our own Inventory list.
Contributor: Ann Martin