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ISO wine to go with Indian food...

We usually drink Alsatians but wonder if there are other good pairings?

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  1. I like wine with Indian food, yes, much like how I like wine with Italian food. Yes, there are other good pairings.

    1. it depends on the dish...spices, heat level, presence or absence of dairy or acidic ingredients like tomatoes...they all affect how a wine will play off the food (as does the alcohol level of the wine). if you really enjoy the Alsatians and want something relatively comparable, a white from the Alto Aldige region of Italy is probably a good bet...but i think requesting a "good pairing" for an entire cuisine is just too broad.

      9 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        As GHG says, the individual Indian dish will lead the pairing in a certain direction, especially with the givens of some spiciness and moderate heat.

        The best pairings for me are off-dry Rieslings (German, Alsatian, Austrian), Gruner Veltliner, and my new favorite: Roussanne. Would never have expected it, but Rousanne has worked wonderfully. Also, Rosé, Champagne, Grenache/Garnacha.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          No specific suggestions but wanted to chime in on the general idea of pairing with off-dry Rieslings. Gewurtztraminers can work as well.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Oops, you stole my thunder. Rosé Champage is almost a universal. I should know to look for any ML posts, before I reply...

            Take care,


            1. re: maria lorraine

              Rousanne is my new favourite too. Interesting to hear that it goes well with Indian food.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Yep, it depends on the dish, but I've had success with off-dry Vouvray with the spicier dishes.

              1. re: oolah

                Yes, there's something about Vouvray and chenin blanc that goes well with garam masala especially in vegetable dishes. I also like champagne.

                And, with lamb curry, Petite Sirah. This always seems to surprise people, you gotta try it.

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                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Petite Sirah is a good match with lamb, so that sounds like a good match to me. Myself, I like Châteauneuf-du-Pape with rogan josh.

                  1. re: tmso

                    Petite Sirah is also complimentary to Thai curries, both meat and vege, so the marriage is more about spices than the meat to me. You might want to try Viognier/Condrieu with rogan josh some time, amazing how it amplifies the flavors.

                  2. re: Melanie Wong

                    Oh and even better than just regular Vouvray would be *sparkling* Vouvray. There's a lot of bad sparkling Vouvray out there, but Champalou and Pinon both make very good versions.

              2. Since India is a vast country, with varied cuisine, I doubt that any one wine will suit all. Still, you Alsatians should work with many. I am also a fan of GR Rieslings too. Still, there are too many possibilities. If I had to pick one wine to go with all, it would be a Rosé Champagne.



                1. For spicier Indian dishes, a young German Auslese Riesling can be a perfect match. The higher prädikats pair much better than dry Rieslings.

                  1. while dishes and styles vary from north to south, it can be said that the texture and weight remain a constant. to pair on the basis of aromati\cs is a futile exercise seeing as a indian kitchen uses masalas, or spice mixtures, rather than one or two predominant flavours. as wel, indian cuisine is served to share, meaning that the challlenge isnt in matching one dish but finding one wine to weave through the lot. textural matches such as a viscous pinot gris are a good bet. the relatively toned down nose also helps to limit clashing.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: linalool

                      I do agree that most Indian dishes are served to share, I still work towards each dish with a wine. Yes, there can be much overlap, but my guests usually have several glasses in front of them. Each wine was an attempt to pair with each dish, but there is nothing to be lost by doing a mix-n-match. Tamrind in Mayfair loves me for this, as they sell 4-5 bottles per dining experience.

                      Now, tell me more about the PG. Maybe I have just not experienced the right one(s). Sounds interesting, and you make a case for it. Tell me which one(s) I should include in my mix, please.



                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        anything from zind-humbrecht should do the trick.

                      2. re: linalool

                        I like the idea of a viscous PG. I love PG VT with wild game, and could see it working with the intensity of meat curries.

                      3. I will give the obnoxious answer first. BEER. Honestly, in terms of ideal pairings, no wine will work as well as beer.

                        That said, Champagnes and other sparklers, off-dry Riesling, Scheurebe, Gewurz, and Pinot Gris.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: whiner

                          I am with whiner on this one. A good IPA .
                          Also for pise, Moretti.

                          1. re: whiner

                            Even better than beer: a good hard cider. Quaffable like beer but the extra hint of sweetness is a perfect foil for spicy Indian food (and yes, I know not all Indian food is spicy - but all the stuff I order is!)

                          2. This month for the Cookbook of the Month on the Home Cooking board, those participating are cooking from two Indian books. I'm having a small dinner tonight (well, just three of us, with too much food), and would love some wine suggestions. In restaurants I do usually get a riesling or gewurtztramminer, but was thinking that a red might be nice for tonight with the lamb. The dishes aren't particularly spicy. I'd prefer between $15 to $20 for tonight.

                            Lamb Braised in Aromatic Cream Sauce (Rogani Gosht), p. 164
                            Saffron Rice with Peaches (Zaffrani Pullao), p. 371
                            Gujerati-style Green Beans (mustard seed, red chile, garlic)
                            Smoked Eggplant with Fresh Herbs (Bharta), p. 305
                            Hot Hyderabad Tomato Relish (Hyderabadi Tamatar Chutney), p. 441
                            Grated Cucumber Relish
                            Maybe a raita - haven't gotten there yet.

                            Thank you.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: MMRuth

                              I've not had much luck pairing reds with Indian foods (actually, I've not had much luck pairing wine with Indian food) but that won't stop me from suggesting that you avoid big, tannic, high-alcohol reds, since the wine and food seem to bring out the worst in each other.

                              Look for reds that are light, supple and fluid or that are soft and fruity, not necessarily bone dry and best served lightly chilled. For light and supple, think Gamay from the Loire, Red Pif (a bistro wine from the Languedoc), Dôle from Switzerland, basic Kekfrancos from Hungary (Szekszardi is a good, cheap bet), etc. For soft and fruity, Graillot's Tandem (a Syrah from Morocco), an unpretentious Petite Sirah (Red Truck, Bogle, Parducci) or Glen Carlou's Tortoise Hill Red (a South African blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Merlot), etc.

                              1. re: carswell

                                Thank you very much, carswell. I've forwarded this to my husband to guide him so that I can finish cooking! I think we'll get a bottle of white as well, so that we can compare and contrast.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  I'd be inclined to try a light red as well - we've enjoyed a red Anjou recently which might do the trick. In England, people generally drink beer with Indian - Cobra or Kingfisher if you're going for the native brands.

                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                    I just started reading Sahni tonight. On p. 95, she discusses what to drink with an Indian meal. Her suggestions for wine are Sangria "as a luncheon beverage", rosé with tandoori and dishes with cream or yogurt, Chianti or Burgundy "for dishes in onion and tomato gravy", and Chablis for seafood and appetizers.

                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      Thanks for that. Very well thought out.

                                      1. re: Rubee

                                        Don't know what Sahni had in mind when she wrote that, but it did strike me when I read it that the book was written 30 years ago, when "Burgundy" and "Chablis" were, for many Americans, the two major styles of wine produced by E&J Gallo.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          Though in her book, she does mention French Burgundy.....

                                          I also mentioned that as the recipes MMRuth were using for her dinner party were Sahni dishes from the same book - "Classic Indian Cooking".

                                      2. re: carswell

                                        I could see Bogle's Petite Sirah being a great match with full-flavored and complex Indian food!

                                    2. There's a vineyard in the Nandi Hills of India called Grover Vineyards. They've been producing world-class wine for years, now. I've had their "clairette" and it just hits the nail on the head when paired with curries (or Sichuan food, for that matter). They also make an off-dry rose that's delightful with the same cuisine.

                                      Absent a wine shop that can get Grover wines for you, I'd go with a lovely Gruner Veltliner (my favorite is Hoepler -- tasty, restrained, and a bargain).

                                      1. Thank you everyone for your suggestions - my husband was too tired to read and follow the suggestions I sent him! We ended up drinking a Spanish granache that our guest brought - the wine was v. good & reasonably priced, and recommended by the owner of Crossroads. We're doing another dinner tomorrow night, so I'll see if I can do better this time!

                                        1. Anyone have suggestions for South Indian food in particular?

                                          Will be going to a dinner party next weekend where my friends will cook mainly South Indian dishes (all vegetarian). Since the food will be lighter in general, I'm guessing the wine may be different from the kind of wine that goes with heavy, meaty curries...any advice?