Pairings | Curry
It’s true that lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats, as at home with red Bordeaux and Rioja as it is with the fruitier wines of the new world. But if you’re looking for a spot-on wine pairing it’s worth thinking just how - and for how long - you’re going to cook it.
Good news! The best wine with chicken can be either red or white - it depends on your own personal taste and the way it’s cooked.
If you’re wondering which wine to pair with curry, you’re not alone. There are probably more opinions about the matter than there are types of curry from “wine is never a good idea* to *any wine you like*.
A lot of people still think that wine isn’t a good match with spicy food but our final session of What Food, What Wine? judging this week suggested that there’s no reason for winelovers to throw in the towel. The success (or otherwise) of the pairings did however depend on the heat of the curries and how ‘wet’ or dry they were.
If you think it’s difficult to pair wine and vegetarian food, think again. It’s no trickier than it is for those who eat meat or fish.
Of all the different aspects of wine and food matching I write about, wine and Indian food is the most controversial. What type of wine works best, and indeed whether you should drink wine at all is the subject of endlessly heated exchanges. The subject has recently come up again with the introduction of a number of wines that are specifically designed to go with spicy food. Was this, at last, the solution?
As we swelter through an unusually hot August here are my top wine pairings for one of my favourite summer foods, prawns - or shrimp as they’re known over the pond.
With the Thai New Year celebrations coming up you may well be planning to eat in a Thai restaurant or host a Thai meal at home. But which drinks pair best with a Thai food?
Like any other red South Africa's Pinotage comes in different styles - some lighter and fruitier than others. When you're matching it with food you take a cue from the sort of ingredients and dishes that go with its two ancestors - Pinot Noir and Cinsault.
You may not be familiar with Carmenère but it's a delicious red at this chilly time of year.
Viognier (pronounced vee-on-yee-ay) is a rich, exotically fruity white wine, sometimes achieving quite high levels of alcohol so what are the ideal foods to pair with it?
I spent an interesting evening this week at one of London’s leading Indian restaurants Benares. It was organised jointly by a wine events company called The Wine Nose and SOPEXA, the promotional arm of the French food and wine industry.
It’s tough to say what the best wine matches for lamb are - it’s served so many different ways and there are so many wines (mainly red) that work but here are my five favourites.
A re-run of an old post following a visit to Alsace, updating my recommendations on the best pairings for the region's dry and off-dry white wines.
None of you, I’m sure, can have failed to notice just how many different bottles of rosé are now available on the average supermarket shelf. From being purely a summer wine there are now rosés for almost every type of food and occasion.
Today is International Grenache Day, a celebration of a grape which is (often anonymously) responsible for some of the most generous and appealing reds in the wine world.
When I met Christine Manfield a while ago I gave her the impossible task of picking one recipe out of her stunning book Tasting India. This was the one she chose.
I recently chaired a panel on women in food at the Abergavenny Food Festival which included the wonderful Zoe Adjonyoh. I hadn't seen her book Zoe's Ghana Kitchen before but discovered it was full of the most delicious recipes, many of them vegan.
What on earth do you drink with currywurst? Last week I was in Berlin so had the perfect opportunity to find out.
A cabernet would have been the last wine I would have thought of drinking with a curry but as happens from time to time you come across an unexpected wine match that really works.
Cauliflower and eggs are two of my favourite things, here ingeniously combined by Dan Doherty of the Duck & Waffle in his brilliant book Toast, Hash, Roast, Mash.
I’m always on the lookout for interesting alcohol-free drinks to pair with food so was pleased to see that Asma Khan had listed some really interesting options at her Darjeeling Express residency at The Sun and 13 Cantons pub in Soho the other day.
The widely held belief that wine doesn’t pair with curry has largely been dispelled with the new and more subtly spiced curries on the market. But what of really hot curries like a Vindaloo?
An unusually complicated recipe for this site but one which should be absolutely worth the effort. It comes from Phil Howard's fantastic The Square: The Cookbook volume 1 which I suspect is already well-thumbed in many restaurant kitchens.
After the carbfest that is Christmas I fancy clean spicy flavours in January so leapt on this easy, delicious dish from Claire Thomson's The Art of the Larder which I included in my Christmas book round-up.
One of the most enjoyable food and wine matches I’ve experienced was also the most serendipitous. The family were away, I was working on a book and staggered down half way through the evening to find the fridge virtually bare except for a half bottle of Krug, a half-empty packet of the kids’ fish fingers and some frozen spinach. Ten minutes later, the spinach well anointed with butter, the fish fingers grilled and the Krug poured I had the perfect supper.
If you’re used to choosing wine - or other drinks - to match with meat or fish you may be flummoxed when it comes to chosing one for vegetarian friends. But as I explain in my Guardian column today it’s a question of finding out how the wine is made - and in particular whether any animal-based products have been used in the fining process.
Coincidentally I have had invitations to two Indian dinners in two weeks - one accompanied by beer and one with wine which makes for some interesting comparisons.
Sometimes it’s worth revisiting your prejudices. I’ve never been a huge fan of gewürztraminer with Indian food although it’s an established pairing. It always seems to me slightly jarring, especially with tomato-based curry sauces. But this week I changed my mind.
Thai food is particularly difficult to match with wine. Not only do you have the heat to contend with but the tricky sweet-sour flavours and - as with many Asian cuisines - several dishes on the go at a time.
To mark National Curry Week here's an article I wrote for Decanter a while back about Indian food and wine matching at the Cinnamon Club which still contains some useful advice about wine and spice pairing:
The answer to that may well be ‘whatever wine’s left over’ - if there is any, of course - but if you’re looking for a wine that will match specific dishes here are a few ideas:
Where I live in Bristol we’re lucky to have an unusually good Indian restaurant called Thali Café, that sells sophisticated street food which you can take away in your own tiffin box. I’m addicted to the vegetable-based ‘Dairy Free Tiffin’ which is light, fresh and aromatic and was wondering what to drink with it when I picked up a bottle of Tire Bite Golden Ale from the excellent Flying Dog brewery.
Last week I hosted a fabulous wine dinner at my local Indian restaurant Nutmeg in Bristol. We’d had the opportunity to have a run through beforehand and I was really happy with all the wines which were chosen in conjunction with their supplier Talking Wines.
The idea of drinking sparkling wine with Indian street food might seem crazy but it’s a really good pairing as I was reminded last night when I dined at Masala Zone just off Carnaby Street with Warren Edwardes, the CEO of a company called Wine for Spice.
This may well be the most off-the-wall pairing I post this year: chardonnay with a lamb curry? Extraordinary - and this is why
The usual bombardment of hearts and flowers that heralds Valentine’s Day is bound to make anyone who doesn’t have a Valentine feel a bit out of it. But there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself . . .
You may think tasting wine sounds arduous but a major wine and food tasting, I assure you, is a much greater assault on the system as I was reminded the other day when Victoria Moore of The Guardian and I ran 14 Pinot Gris through their paces with foods that ranged from smoked eel to chicken tikka masala. Neither of us was able to eat much for several days.
I’ve always thought of riesling as a better match for the fresh flavours of south-east Asian-inspired food than curry but a visit to the Lahore Kebab House proved otherwise this week.
Earlier this week I was involved in judging a selection of South African rieslings at High Timber in London and afterwards we had a three course lunch that had been designed to match with them. This is what we ate and drank.
In the run-up to National Curry Week TV chef Vivek Singh shares his favourite recipe for Old Delhi-style butter chicken from his enticing new book Spice at Home.
If you like a bit of a project make Richard Turner's beef rendang this weekend - one of his favourite recipes, he tells me, from his brilliant new book PRIME.
One of the most interesting cookbooks to come out this spring is James Whetlor's Goat - a book of recipes for using goat meat.
Of course it depends what type of IPA you're talking about. A relatively light style will lead you in a different direction from a huge, hoppy double IPA, but these I think would be my top five . . .
The first thing we do when we get back from France is to eat some kind of spicy food. It’s not impossible to eat ethnic down in the Languedoc (there are a couple of Vietnamese restaurants locally) but it’s not good.
This month’s issue of Observer Food Monthly hasa special on TV dinners featuring celebrities talking about their favourite snacks. Very few beverages are mentioned so I thought I’d suggest a few pairings ;-)
Malbec has got so popular it may have become one of your favourite red wines but what are the best kind of dishes to pair with it?
Quite an adventurous pairing this week which you might have thought on paper wouldn’t come off. A hot, spicy pork and peanut stew and a glass of Ben Glaetzer’s bold, ripe 2010 Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein from South Australia's Langhorne Creek.