Wine presents itself as a wonderful pairing for nearly all dishes globally from meats to cheeses, desserts to salads. It comes in many styles to include still and sparkling as well colours from white to dark red mostly though the likes of blue, orange, brown and more will be seen. You can also select your sweetness and acidic levels with wines which further increases the styles of foods it can pair with. Wine is made globally both within the southern and northern hemispheres, with popular wine producing countries that include Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Argentina, South Africa and USA.
Many of us will enjoy a glass of wine to relax to or even quite the opposite, to party to, the setting helps us to appreciate it even more. We can maximise a wine’s qualities when we are served it at the correct temperature, within the perfect glass and when our palate is fresh and most assertive.
Pairing wine with foods allows it to work in a very different way. Depending on the style of food, wine can perform very differently and aid plus enhance our tasting experience by showing alternative flavours. Wines can also refresh / cleanse the palate in between servings.
Curry is one such cuisine style that is a wonderful pairing for wine. Though many of us will know of, and most likely to have experienced in our younger socialising years, curry being served with beer / larger, in more recent years the trend is them to be served with fine wines. Many Asian cuisine restaurants across the UK will likely have a wine menu alongside the food menu to offer guests many styles to choose from.
“The story of curry goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. This culture in the Northwest of Asia dates back to the time between 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE. Archaeologists have found evidence that they used a mortar and a pestle to blend spices such as cumin, fennel and tamarind pods and mixed them with their food. Another spice that is related to the Indian subcontinent and South Asia is black pepper, which was first introduced all the way back in 2000 BCE.” source curryculture
Though of course curry belongs to Asia, it is also looked upon as a very traditional dish here amongst us Brits. Alongside imported cuisine styles and popular takeaways including pizza, Chinese and burgers we see curry as one of the most popular dishes favoured by people up and down the country. With over 9,000 curry houses to choose from across the UK, we have a variety of styles and variations to enjoy. Many of the curries we see served in the UK have been adapted to our preferences, though there are many restaurants and chefs offering the chance to experience original home recipes.
We are able to enjoy curry at ease here from restaurants to takeaways, frozen ready made meals to sauces in a jar. We can also visit our local Asian food store and purchase ingredients to make our own homemade curries.
Curry is made to be very easily understood with each having its own title which many are household names such as Tikka Masala, Korma, Vindaloo, Jalfrezi, Madras, Balti, Dansak and many more. Each curry is also open to vegetarian and vegan options as well as popular meats such as chicken, beef, lamb and king prawn. Creamy to dry sauces, sweet to hot & spicy – Curry really does give us a grand selection to choose from.
“Which is the best wine for curry? This is a great question of which there are many answers and of course lots are down to personal preferences. I have reviewed many wine menus of curry restaurants (example Indian Accent) and for me the better style of wine for curry is that of black grapes such as rosé and reds (still or sparkling). The ideal partner for curry is sparkling rosé wines including Champagne, ideally Brut style so not too sweet neither too dry – You are looking for a crisp, fresh rosé with delicate expression of red berry fruits and a decent acidity.” Christopher Walkey
Wine is another item that we have a great selection of here in the UK. Not only do we now produce our very own fine labels, thanks to high street stores, supermarkets and online sales platforms, we can choose from countless labels from across the globe. One such fine style of wine suitable for pairing with many curry dishes, especially those which are spicy / hot, is rosé sparkling wine.
Rosé Sparkling Wines are made globally though for this article I have decided to go with an example from Slovenia. The capital of the country, Ljubljana, holds restaurants that serve Asian cuisine and back in 2013 The Curry Life Taste of Britain Festival travelled to Ljubljana to introduce its inhabitants to British-Asian cuisine.
“The Joannes Protner house is located five kilometers from the center of Maribor, in the direction of Malečnik. We have been intensively involved in viticulture for more than three decades and we have a total of 13 ha of vineyards.” Joannes.si
Joannes Winery Slovenia – Located in the northern wine region (Štajerska) of Slovenia and near to Maribor a town that holds the popular wine tourism destination of the oldest vine in the world! An innovative winery producing both still and sparkling wines of very high standard – Find out more about their wines here including their rosé fizz: Joannes Wines
Joannes Rosé Brut Penina (30% Velvet black, 70% Pinot Noir) – Tasting notes: “Wonderful delicate pink floral, red berry fruits on the nose with added strawberry pastry. Fine flavours, most elegant, showing delicate red berry fruits and a decent yet silky acidity. A wonderful wine for food pairings.”
Home made spicy chicken curry – Pairing notes: “The wine pairs very well with the savoury and spicy flavours from the dish. The wine cuts through the oily texture and cools down most of the chilli heat to leave a fresh red berry and soft spicy chicken taste. The heat from the chilli slowly comes back as the wine fades… ”
Home made potato and lentil curry – Pairing notes: “Once again the rosé sparkling wine works very well to calm down the palate from the chilli heat, we still get a nice welcoming spiciness in the palate with fresh raspberry / red berries.“