Wine and Indonesian food: which wine pairs best with Rijsttafel?
I posted this last year after trying Rijsttafel - the Indonesian speciality that’s widely available in Amsterdam. Translated literally as ‘rice table’, it’s an elaborate array of curries, salads and pickles which present a tough challenge for any wine.
The curries are hot but also sweet which tends to strip the flavour out of drier wines including the Gruner Veltliner we ordered, a normal go-to with south-east Asian food, although it matched a couple of lighter introductory dishes. Several also had a rich peanut sauce. The wines I thought would make the best pairings for Rijsttafel itself were off-dry whites though I came up with a couple of other options you might enjoy:
Actually we tried a sip of this and it did work
Gewurztraminer - it wouldn’t match all the dishes but would be a good all-rounder
Off-dry Pinot Gris from Alsace or New Zealand
Barossa semillon would work well with the peanut sauces
Torrontes (a suggestion from Blauw’s own list)
Off-dry Clare or Eden Valley riesling like this Grosset riesling which was my match of the week a while back with a Chinese New Year feast
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a dash of tropical fruit
Off-dry strong rosé such as those you get from Portugal and South America
Chilled New Zealand Pinot Noir - the favourite of the chef Agus Hermawan. Or Chilean Pinot Noir, for that matter. You need a touch of sweetness.
Ripe but not over-alcoholic Shiraz and similar GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre) blends
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