Top pairings | Wine and Indonesian food: which wine pairs best with Rijsttafel?

Top pairings

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 one we had was at Blauw, a restaurant strongly recommended by foodie colleagues and in the immensely useful Where Chefs Eat and couldn’t have been a better introduction to the genre.

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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Comments: 1 (Add)

Nayoung on June 8 2014 at 15:50

Dear Fiona,

This was just the article I was looking for! I'm getting married in Bali this year and I need to choose a white and red wine. We'll have a rijsttafel dinner. Our caterer is giving us the following brands to choose from, from these brands would you have any recommendations in particular? Jacob's Creek, Hardy's, Lindemans and G7. Thank you! Nayoung

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