National Curry Week

Choosing a drink to enjoy with curry might well conjure up thoughts of ice cold lager or lassi, however these are not firm favourites with everyone.

The tips below are for those of us who love curry and also want to enjoy a glass of wine at the same time.

Think about the sauce:

What’s in the curry is less important than the base of the sauce, ie tomato, cream, or coconut milk. How hot is the sauce? Let’s face it, the sauce tends to dominant whatever is in the curry be it meat, fish or veg.

National Curry Week

Fuel the fire or chill out?

Do you want the wine to reduce the heat of the curry or intensify it?

Characteristics of wine

Acidic wines – make your mouth water which has the effect of soothing some of the spiciness in a hot curry. Try Riesling, Chablis, Albarino or Sauvignon Blanc.

Percentage of Alcohol – the higher the alcohol level the more you’ll feel the heat of the curry. Wines with an alcohol by volume higher than 13% are likely to ramp up the heat of the curry. Look for low alcohol to lessen the effects of the spice.

Tannins – a high tannic reds can make make curries taste bitter and more spicy. If you want red wine with your curry but want to keep a lid on the spice try a fruity, light bodied wine such as a Pinot Noir from New Zealand or a young Valpolicella. If you want to ramp up the spice go for an Australian Shiraz, an Argentinian Malbec or a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sugar – sweetness in wines counteracts the spice and tones down our perception of it. Give Torrontes, Chenin Blanc or a Kabinett or Spatlese Riesling a go.