"It has an oily character and funky smokiness."
Indian cuisine is arguably one of the best, especially when there is such a wide variety of mouthwatering choices to choose from.
Dishes range from mild and creamy to heavily spiced, making it one of the most complex flavour profiles.
It is common to think that the perfect drink to go with an Indian meal is a refreshing beer.
However, until you pair your desired dish with a glass of wine, you have no idea on the amount of flavour which is maximised.
The wide range of flavours within Indian cuisine needs to have a suitable wine to balance out your dining experience.
A number of red wines pair well with several Indian dishes.
Going for a white wine will prove to be a good choice, depending on which ones go with particular Indian dishes.
A simple white wine will balance out the rich flavour of Indian cuisine. Take into account the type of sauce and spiciness when deciding on the perfect wine.
Because there are so many types out there, we present five white wines to drink with Indian food.
Marsanne originates in Northern Rhône, Southern France and is the most popular variety in the region.
The wine can develop a number of rich flavours and aromatics, depending on how long it has been aged.
Autumnal scents such as roasted nuts, pears, white peaches and honeydew melon appeal to wine-lovers senses.
As it ages, Marsanne wines deepen in colour and develop stronger flavours.
Because a range of flavours can develop from a glass of Marsanne wine, it is a food-friendly wine.
The nodes of honey from the wine goes especially well with Indian food to balance out the complex flavours.
Surprisingly, Marsanne even pairs well with tomato-based meaty curries, especially if it is an aged variant.
The fruity, slight sweetness compliments the richness of the sauce and offsets the hint of acidity from the tomatoes as well as balances the intense spices.
An ideal curry to eat with the wine is a lamb rendang as the light wine contrasts with the dense curry very well.
The lightness of Marsanne wine makes it perfect with mild, creamy dahl dishes. Both are light which means they compliment each very well.
A glass of Marsanne is one which goes well with a number of Indian dishes, making it a versatile wine.
Scheurebe wine is primarily grown in Germany and Austria, where it is often called Sämling 88.
Usually, sweet flavoured wines are produced but dry Scheurebe wines have become more common in Germany.
Scheurebe wines are highly aromatic, and the variety is often used for sweet wines, although dry Scheurebe wines have become more common in Germany.
While a well-made Scheurebe will give off intense aromas of blood grape and honey, it is also known for its oily character and a hint of smokiness.
This makes for a robust white wine when pairing with Indian food.
An ideal pairing with a glass of Scheurebe is a selection of tandoori roasted meats.
Any meat of your choice is good with the white wine as the sweet aromas perfectly blend with the smokiness of the tandoori food.
Both have a smoky taste which just enhances the whole combination. Because tandoori lacks a rich sauce, it goes well with a more full-bodied wine, which Scheurebe is.
Beer and wine expert Rich Higgins says that with tandoori-roasted meats, reach for Scheurebe, for its “oily character and funky smokiness.”
Grüner Veltliner wines are one of the most popular varieties in the Czech Republic, accounting for around 11% of the total wine production in the country.
A number of styles have been produced, such as a sparkling variant or long-aged wines, but the best way to enjoy a glass is to have ones which are young.
The flavours of citrus and peach are much more apparent, with hints of pepper and sometimes tobacco.
Its taste, as well as the leaner proteins, have drawn similarities to Chardonnay and it is no surprise that Grüner Veltliner is a food-friendly wine.
This particular variant is ideal with spicy curries, such as vindaloo because the fruity flavours add a new element to just the spice of the food.
It also has a lower alcohol content which will cool down the tastebuds after eating a spicy dish. A high alcohol content will make spicy food feel more intense.
Because Grüner Veltliner has different variants, it pairs with other Indian dishes.
Sparkling ones go well with green sauce dishes, such as Saag Paneer.
The rich, herbaceous sauce created from leafy greens and cream are highlighted with a sparkling Grüner Veltliner. Its lean profile works well with the thick sauce.
This Italian wine has become very popular for drinking on its own or with a meal for a number of reasons. More recently, this wine variant is produced in America.
It is sweet, low in alcohol and easy to drink. Flavours of nectarine, peach and orange are experienced when tasting the wine, making it very pleasing for the taste buds.
The grapes used have a high level of sugar which is what gives Moscato its sweetness and increase in popularity.
With Indian food, it is best to pair it with mildly flavoured aubergine dishes to compliment the aromatic qualities.
This is because aubergine absorbs the flavours in which it is cooked in, so the wine depends on the level of spices within the dish.
To maximise the wine’s potential, it is advised to take it out of the fridge to warm so that the perfumed aromas and delicate flavours are properly given off.
The sweetness of Moscato wine makes it perfect alongside desserts which incorporate milk, rice and nuts. So, Kheer (rice pudding) is a great Indian dessert to try with it too.
The delicately flavoured desserts need an equally delicate wine like Moscato, whose sweetness compliments sweet-tasting desserts.
Sémillon wine is primarily made in France and Australia. There are two main variants, a dry wine and a sweet one.
The fruity version is the most popular and the main flavours are lemon, apple, pear and green papaya.
It ranges from a zesty, palate-cleansing wine to a rich, creamy textured wine.
One thing for sure is that Sémillon wine is loved for its full body, similar to Chardonnay, but has flavours closer to Sauvignon Blanc.
When pairing with Indian food, it is advised to drink Sémillon with mild, creamy dishes as red wines will be too harsh for the softness of these dishes.
The subtle citrus flavours go especially well with mild dal made with lentils, split peas or dried beans.
Both sets of flavours accompany each other for an enjoyable meal.
Creamy dishes such as Saag Aloo and Dal makhni would be good choices to pair well with Sémillon wine too, due to their dense and sumptuous taste.
Both have creamy textures but the citrus taste of the wine will break it down so that the texture does not feel too heavy.
These selections of wines all have different flavours and textures to go with a number of South Asian dishes.
It is advised that you go for the right wine to pair with your chosen meal to really bring out the flavours of one another.
Choosing a white wine to go with Indian food, in the end, comes down to personal preference.
Experiment with different combinations to see what works and what does not. These five wines should provide a guidance in finding that perfect pairing.