Wine Pairing With Indian Food
When it comes to wine and food pairing, there are those who adhere to the norms and those who prefer to experiment in order to achieve a balanced pairing.
I have been a wine taster for as long as I can remember and have worked with numerous connoisseurs and diverse consumer groups from around the world. I’ve learned over the years that wine and cuisine pairings can be highly subjective to individual preferences and can vary from region to region.
Wine and food pairing myth: white wine and white meat should be paired, while red wine and crimson flesh should be paired. This is a very antiquated perspective on the harmony between cuisine and wine. I’m not claiming that all cuisine and wine coupling laws are without merit, but the straightforward rule is that what grows together goes together.
Fish and chicken, for instance, are white proteins, but when the cuisine is spicy, one must opt for an off-dry style. Rose or red wine of medium body, dependent on the level of spice There is a certain amount of science behind the flavor profiles that must be considered when pairing wine and food. For those unfamiliar with wine pairing, here are some fundamental principles to follow: Compare structure to structure and flavor to flavor.
- Heavy foods should be paired with heavy wines, and light foods with light wines.
- Pair oily dishes with robustly astringent wines.
- Spicy dishes must be paired with a semi-sweet wine for contrast.
- Consider the amount of sodium in the entrée before selecting a wine.
- Pair saccharine foods with wines that are slightly sweeter than the food.
- I trust these straightforward guidelines will assist you in selecting wines when hosting a dinner at home or ordering at a restaurant.
To further simplify matters, I have paired a few popular Indian dishes with wines.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Dist.
Andhra Pradesh is renowned for both its piquant cuisine and its rich cultural heritage. This cuisine incorporates both Andhra cuisine and Mughlai-influenced Hyderabadi cuisine. The extensive use of seasonings in traditional Andhra dishes makes them extremely appetizing. Here are several dishes that pair well with wine.
- Vankai Pachanagapappu: This dish is composed of thick slices of country brinjal prepared with chickpeas and tomatoes. It is best coupled with a medium-bodied aromatic wine such as Viognier, as it is a very light and uncomplicated dish.
- Gongura Chicken is a medium-spicy chicken curry with the distinct flavor of gongura, or sorrel leaves, as its primary ingredient. This is ideally served with a semi-sweet rose. The wine’s mild sweetness will help to balance out the bitterness of this dish, and its acidity will help to highlight the delicate flavors of the gongura leaves.
- The Nawabi Biryani is prepared using the Dum Pukht (slow simmering) method. Thus, every particle of rice is seasoned with meat and seasonings. It calls for a medium-bodied, flavorful red wine, such as Zynfandel or Merlot. Dum Pukht imparts a peculiar smoky flavor, so wines aged in oak barrels pair better. If the spice level is considerable, I would choose a shiraz.
Notable highlights of this cuisine include seafood, pork, and local refreshments such as feny. Although Goan cuisine is straightforward, it can be extremely peppery and fiery. The cuisine is a harmonious combination of disparate cultural traditions, including those of the Konkan, the Portuguese, and the Bahamani Nawabi. Here are a few wine-friendly dishes from Goan cuisine that will satisfy your inner gourmand.
- Vindaloo is a mutton dish with spices. As pork is a lean meat, it should be paired with a delicate, medium-bodied red wine such as Merlot. The wine’s intense fruitiness will help reduce the intensity of the flavor.
- Chicken Xacuti: This popular dish pairs particularly well with Shiraz. Spices that complement the meat should be paired with wines that have similar characteristics. Meats with rich, intense flavors pair well with Shiraz.
Pomfret Reacheado’s goan fish sauté is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts. Given that this dish contains a variety of Indian seasonings, it pairs best with an aromatic, off-dry wine such as a Viognier. This would help to tone down the seasonings and enhance the fish’s flavors.
The distinctive flavors and aromas of Maharashtra’s cuisine set it apart. It can be divided into coastal and interior sections. Coconut, in its various forms, enhances the flavor of numerous dishes, but coconut oil is not extensively employed as a culinary medium. Peanuts are commonly used in vegetables, and peanut oil is the most popular culinary oil. Kokum, a deep purple berry with a sweet and acidic flavor, is also an essential ingredient. Here are the finest dishes from Maharashtra that pair well with wine.
- Mutton Kolhapuri: fiery mutton Kolhapuri is intensely peppered, so Shiraz is the ideal wine for those who prefer fiery dishes with a piquant accent.
- Pav Bhaji: This dish has a high level of intensity due to gradual cooking, and the pavbhaji masala used pairs well with an off-dry style rose.
This province has a diverse culinary history. In this land of monarchs, the lack of water and fresh, verdant vegetables has had a significant effect on the culinary arts. In the desert territories of Jaisalmer, Barmer, and Bikaner, chefs prefer to use more milk, buttermilk and clarified butter than water. In general, Rajasthani curries are bright red but less fiery than they appear. Here are the dishes from Rajasthan that pair well with wine:
- Daal Baati: This dish has a delicate texture and a simple base sauce; therefore, it calls for a wine with a more tropical flavor on the palate. It complements Viognier well.
- Laal Maas: A medium-spiced goat meat curry can be paired with a full-bodied, plumper Shiraz. Concentrated, velvety tannins will complement the meat’s proteins.
Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Bihar.
Typically, North Indian curries have viscous, mildly peppery, and creamy sauces. Even in commonplace goods, desiccated fruits and legumes are reasonably common. Milk, cream, cottage cheese, ghee (clarified butter), and yoghurt are essential ingredients in the preparation of both savoury and delectable dishes. Due to the year-round availability of such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, the region generates an astounding multitude of vegetarian dishes. Here are some foods that pair well with a glass of vino.
- Paneer Lababdar: This dish has a delicate texture and a basic base sauce, so it calls for a wine with apricot and peach flavors. The high intensity of the dish’s ingredients pairs well with an aromatic wine like Viognier.
- Chicken Makhani contains an abundance of tomatoes, which are acidic in nature, and the chicken is initially roasted in a tandoor before being simmered in tomato gravy. Therefore, an off-dry wine with tropical fruity flavors, such as Chenin Blanc or Rose, is required to balance and enhance the flavor.
Cuisine lovers have a high demand for the food in this state. Tourists from all over the world want to sample the exquisite flavor of the numerous restaurants and establishments in Tamil Nadu that serve the region’s diverse cuisine.
- Chettinad cuisine is a hallmark of Tamil Nadu and will gratify those who enjoy fiery and peppery meat dishes. The Chettinad Pepper Chicken is a traditional favorite among the many fish, lamb, and chicken dishes available in this assortment. Here are the finest dishes from Tamil Nadu that pair well with your preferred wines.
- Chicken Chettinad Since the dish is spicy, an off-dry style of Blush Rose is the best match, as it has hints of a bouquet of roses, strawberries, and sweet spices.
- Masala dosa is India’s most popular breakfast and one of the most popular market foods. This fermented pancake with potato, onion, and spice crepe pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc.