Pairing Wines With Indian Curries In The UK
Wine pairing is as much an art as it is a skill, and unusual dishes often present special challenges. Curry dishes have been popular in the United Kingdom ever since India's days as a British possession, and today they're especially popular for casual dining and takeaway meals. Although a lot of people reach for a beer when they're chowing down on a spicy Indian curry, there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of you matching up a curry with a delicious wine. The right pairing can bring out the full flavor profile of your meal and create a genuinely elegant dining experience.
Although you'll find plenty of useful guidance on pairing wine and curries here, bear in mind that a certain amount of trial and error is absolutely necessary. There is an enormous variety of different curries available in the UK today, and individual diners' tastes vary widely too. It's still possible to get your wine-pairing skills off to a strong start by bearing a few key points in mind when you're choosing drinks to match up with your favourite curries. You shouldn't find it too difficult to discover at least one vintage - if not more - that make a perfect match-up with a tasty curry dish.
Initial Wine-Choosing Considerations
The place to start your journey towards picking out the ideal wine is by considering the characteristics of the curry you're trying to complement. Mild curries and hot, spicy curries will end up pairing better with different sorts of wine. Speaking very generally, you'll find your options more wide open if you're trying to pick out a wine to accompany a mild curry dish. Flaming-hot curries are more challenging to pair, and you may find your options somewhat limited with the spiciest of dishes. Keep this principle in mind the next time you stop off at your favourite Indian takeaway near you. When you know you're going to enjoy a wine with your curry dish, it's a good idea to stay away from the hotter end of the spicy scale.
Since "mild" is a relative term when it comes to curries, you should be prepared for at least some level of spiciness no matter what sort of dish you choose. When it's time to pick out your wine, this means you'll likely want to avoid wines with a high alcohol content. They can end up tasting bitter and detracting from your dining experience instead of enhancing it.
Remember to consider the sides that are going to accompany your curry. Will you be having lots of bread? Have you ordered additional dishes that bring a nutty flavour to the meal? Remember that your ultimate goal is to select the ideal wine for the meal as a whole, not just for the main entree.
Some Basic Wine Pairing Suggestions
As a general matter of principle, you should be looking for wines that are fruity, sweet, and generally light. If your heart is set on accompanying your curry with red wine, make sure you keep the alcohol content low.
An excellent go-to wine for pairing with a curry dish is a Riesling from Germany. These light white wines generally deliver a hint of sweetness without being overpowering about it. This is often the perfect accompaniment for a spicy dish like a curry. While you can find many different choices offered inside the wider family of German Rieslings, almost all of them can serve as excellent refreshments with a curry meal.
Other white options include Chardonnays or Pinot Gris. (Some Chardonnays offer exceptionally flavorful fruit tastes that match up well with curries.) These are excellent choices to pair with curry dishes because they have plenty of complex flavors and the sweetness you want in order to stand up to the heat of a heavily-spiced curry from India.
Exploring what white wines have to offer is the quickest and easiest way to land on a choice that will end up complementing your favourite curry dish perfectly. It's not an absolute necessity to stick with the whites, though. If you'd like to give red wines a try, just read on.