As a general note, an off-dry Gewurztraminer or Riesling goes great with spicy Indian food. The sugar in the wine will counter the heat and spice of the food, making it an appealing combination. Here are some very basic recommendations about Wines that pair well with Indian food. These suggestions have been put together after taking advice and pointers from Kelly Magyarics from trywine.net, and a few of my wine-loving friends and colleagues! Of course, you learn a few things only by personal experience; but when I started looking for ideas myself, this read on pairing wine with Indian food, and these suggestions were a great help. Hope they come in handy to you as well!
Gewurztraminer: It literally means “spicy grapes” in German, is a preferred wine served with Indian cuisine, especially food rich in herbs, masalas or seasonings, ginger and cardamom. As noted above, the mildly sweet note in this German wine helps compliment the spicy food.
Riesling: These are often fruity wines, flavored with apples, plums, peaches that have high acidic content, and are mildly sweet along with being tart. Hence, Riesling is the perfect pairing to heavy and rich Indian cuisine.
Rose: These wines are pretty dry, compared to the ones described above, and has the complexity and weight of a red wine as well as the acidity of a lighter white wine. Hence it goes great with heavy meat dishes, like lamb or beef.
Champagne: Sparkling wines, like Champagne can be paired with several types of Indian dishes, including vegetarian. If you have a rich & creamy curry, or something heavy like paneer and potatoes, Champagne goes well with it, as it offers a nice change-of-taste due to its bubbly acidic texture.
Pinot Noir: One of the favorites among Red Wines, Pinot Noir is a safe and appealing choice of wine with Indian food. Mainly available in fruity flavors, this red wine is smoother and silkier in texture compared to other high-tannin wines. It is also a wine that goes well with all types of dishes, whether spicy or tangy, chicken, seafood or veggies or cheese, and is also a great wine to serve to someone who’s new to the world of wines.
There, a good list to get you started on your wine-serving tutorial. If you are planning to serve wine along with your Indian food this holiday season, try a few suggestions from this guide, and let us know which ones go onto your favorites list!