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Need Wine recs for indian food

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We're having an Indian theme dinner party. We'll have lots of Kingfisher beer available, but wondering what types of wine we should have on hand?

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  1. Classic recommendations are gewurtztraminer, riesling, and muscat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Heartily second that. I had a Riesling last summer that was just the right touch of sweetness with Indian food and oh my, the nose was beautiful! It was Rancho Sisquoc 2005.

      1. re: sweetTooth

        Second Rancho Sisquoc Riesling. They also make a Sylvaner that would pair nicely with Indian food. IMO of course.

    2. If it's spicy food, it makes a big difference to have a wine with a sweet finish. Without the sweet finish the taste of the wine gets buried in the heat.
      Beer probably works best.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SteveTimko

        Not necessarily true. I've often drunk bone-dry Alsatian whites with Indian food.

        Also dry Cotes-du-Rhone reds. Madhur Jaffrey likes Bordeaux.

      2. I had a glass of a chenin blanc from India at Spice Market that paired well with the spicy food. It was off-dry and mineral-y with some fruity notes. It's from a winery called Sula. Not sure how widely available it is, but here's the link:


          1. Try one of the following varieties of white: Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris/pinot Grigio, Verdelho

            1. My first choice for a "wide range" of Indian food would be riesling... from Tamil to Tandoori :). A simple kabinett.... Gewurztraminer is nice but it's easier to find a bad bottle of Gewurztraminer if you don't know what you're buying...

              Exception would be a creamy Mughal cuisine in which case I'd also look at chardonnay.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Chicago Mike

                Mughal cooking isn't exactly creamy -- there's a lot of more straightforward kebab-type dishes that would probably pair well with reds with an earthy or smokey finish, such as the Rhone varietals or even a Zin. They might echo some of the fruit components in Kashmiri cooking where meat/fruit combinations are not uncommon.

                Perhaps you're thinking about Punjabi food, where a variety of dairy products (milk, cream, yogurt, ghee etc..) are used, often with vegetables. Chards may make a good pairing there.

                1. re: limster

                  Might be punjabi, you're right. They use alot of cream in the dishes...

              2. We always have champagne. Or Beer. We eat Indian food at least twice a week (hubby is from India).

                1. It depends on the Indian food on offer. For simple dishes without creamy or tomato sauces, you can go with chenin blanc, syrah, grenache blanc, even beaujolais. For spicier dishes and/or creamy dishes, try gewurztraminer, prosecco, any other sparkler that's not brut in style, or stick with the beer.

                  1. Since this thread has been revived, I thought I'd add a data point, a post of mine I ran across recently on another forum and had originally posted a couple of years ago.

                    >>In any case, the maker of both our white wines suggested pairing them with spicy foods. Both were from the Jura (Arbois to be specific) and both were 100% savagnin, an obscure variety probably related to gewurztraminer (not that you'd ever guess it) and most famously used to make the region's vin jaune. (Speaking of which, last summer a vin jaune proved a surprisingly good match for walnut and curry-filled chocolates from Hirsigner www.chocolat-hirsinger.com that are specially made to accompany the somewhat fino sherry-like wine. It's one of the things that made my friend curious about putting the savagnins to the Indian test.) Both bottles were from the up-and-coming Domaine de la Tournelle: La fleur de savagnin is a complex dry white that initially had me thinking of a chablis, though as it breathed the flavours became less and less chardonnay-like; Solstice is made from overmature grapes and is semisweet and full of caramel flavours and aromas, and the wine-maker suggests serving it as a aperitif. As it turned out, it was a fine with a selection of papadoms, some of which simply overpowered the Fleur. But the Fleur came into its own with the first and second courses — tandoori subj chaat (roasted fruit and vegetables served as a salad with baby beet tops) and nadir gadh (fish curry with lotus root) — unfazed by the chiles and spices, perfectly able to cleanse and cool the palate. For its part, the Solstice seemed heavy and at odds with the flavours of the food. The results of the experiment were interesting in that they didn't support the claim that sweetness is an asset in white wines to be served with spicy foods; I'm left wondering whether acidity isn't a more important factor.

                    >>The lamb kidneys were split, threaded on brochettes and broiled. Halfway through the cooking, they were sprinkled with spiced salt (salt, corriander, chile powder, asafoetida, cumin, mace, black pepper and black salt), which formed a light crust by the end. After being transferred to the plates, they were topped with a dab of pistachio-chive butter. They paired nicely with a 1996 Chinon, Joguet's Chêne vert bottling, which was structured and full of savoury fruit but not particularly tannic.<<