Hot Stuff!

November 9th, 2007 | Uncategorized
The question of the month?

The Spanish are not very big on hot, spicy food, hence it is virtually impossible to find a curry restaurant in my local area. It is therefore quite interesting that a Spanish food and wine magazine should ask the question “which wines go with curry?”

I wrote a month or two ago about matching food with wine, but this is a particularly difficult question to answer, and, as they point out in the article, it rather depends on the way in which the curry is prepared. There is no doubt in my mind that if we are talking about something extremely hot such as Madras or Vindaloo, then my advice is – stick with a cold beer!

The article suggests that with hotter curries you can drink white wines with a softer acidity and perhaps even a little residual sugar, such as a Viognier, or a ripe Chenin Blanc from South Africa. (Before I receive complaints from my wine making friends around the world, I am not suggesting for a moment that all these wines contain residual sugar!)

They go on to recommend that with milder curries you should turn to wines with a little more acidity, such as a dry Riesling, Chablis or even Champagne. Of course, amongst this selection they include our very own Albariño.

A few years ago when I worked in London I once participated in an extensive tasting in a well-known Indian restaurant. Armed with a wide selection of both red and white wines we tasted them with various spicy dishes. As with any type of cuisine there were some good matches, and some violent clashes, depending on the combination of fruit, tannin, acidity and spice. I have to say that in my opinion, there was no simple magic formula for finding a match.

In conclusion, I still have some reservations about wine with curry, although I would not wish to discourage you from drinking Albariño at any time of day. Perhaps I will just test the theory of this publication the next time I cook a curry at home…..

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