It might be easy enough for you to find delicious recipes and prepare standout food dishes, but what about pairing wine? Making sure your wine of choice complements a spicy dish rather than detracts from it is not as easy as you might think.
In saying that, it’s not impossible. If you’re about to flex your culinary muscles by preparing spicy dishes for friends and family, then read on. Here are some of the best wine types to go with them.
For Spicy Food with Sweetness
If you are creating a spicy dish with just a hint of sweetness, you have to be quite careful with your wine pairing. For example, if you are making a Thai dish that not only has mild chilli but palm sugar and lemongrass, then you can’t choose a sweet wine to go with it. The two layers of sweetness might clash rather than work in harmony.
In that case, a light-bodied Riesling can be an ideal matching option. You may even find that a full-bodied rosé can work exceptionally well with both that spice and sweetness. Even though some rosé wines are sweeter than others, it doesn’t tend to detract from the heat and sweetness of food as much as some other wine varieties.
A Hint of Heat
Not everyone likes a full-blown spicy dish that blows your socks off after the first bite. If you have opted for a seafood dish with a subtle heat, you have to choose a wine that can work with creaminess and chilli. Sparkling wines, or even champagne, can meet the mark.
The fizziness of these two options can cut through the heat and creaminess of such dishes. You then get to enjoy something that cleanses your palate while not altering the dish’s flavour when you go back for more.
Rich in Spices
Some dishes have more than just heat. They have layer upon layer of delectable spices that make any food pack a punch. While this makes for a memorable dining experience, it can also make it tricky to choose the best wine to go with it.
When you’re dealing with a particularly herb-rich and aromatic dish, red wine is always an excellent option. Pinot noir and sparkling shiraz are ideal options, but many full-bodied wines can be worth trying with such meals.
The Best Wine for Spicy Food
If you’re short on time and lacking wine knowledge, then there are a few principles you can rely upon to improve your chances of the best food and wine pairing. You don’t even have to put too much thought into the recipe before you decide.
For any spicy food, an ice-cold, sweet white wine that’s low in alcohol can often be all you require. The coldness of it helps with quenching your palate with a dish that pushes that palate to its limits.
The sweetness helps coat your tongue when it feels like it’s burning. The low alcohol content of such wine can also mean you can safely drink more than a glass to alleviate that burning feeling that some spicy food can leave behind.
If you’re struggling to find the perfect wine pairing for your dish, then talk to your local wine experts. Tell them what you’re cooking, and they may just have a few recommendations to put you on the right track.