What Are Some Optimal Food Choices To Pair With Red Wine?

Each bite of Indian food has the power to make you close your eyes instinctively, as your soul basks in the culinary moment of happiness. We bet, for every new spoonful, you will fall head over heels with their complex and luscious flavours all over again.

But, can the wonders of Indian cuisine truly shine with the liquid rubies, the red wines? You might be surprised to know how well their union ignites your palate, for the tasty fusion of spices from Tandoori Chicken, Palak Paneer, Rogan Josh or Masala Dosa with the tannic grip of red, is surely a beautiful kismet waiting to be savoured.

So, join us as we help you raise the bar on your red wine pairing choices. Lift your glasses and let the fantastic flavours flare up your feast!

Indian Dishes And Their Red Partners

Tandoori Chicken

This mouth-watering delicacy, which is greatly celebrated and cherished in India and rightfully so, is everything you could ever wish for in a chicken dish and more. Oh, it is just so juicy, smoky and downright tasty!

The entire chicken which gets infused with the spice burst of masala, ginger, garlic and a citrusy twist of lemon and cooked in an Indian Tandoor oven can melt any heart. And yes, the red wine stands up to complement the red chicken without any clashes.

The light and fruity Pinot Noir offers that much-needed freshness to balance the rich flavours of the chicken. The full-bodied Shiraz is a bold option that brings with it the warmth of smoke and black fruit to make the dish extra special. Merlot which has subtle hints of plums and cherries works really well with the Tandoori spices too. So, who’s hungry?

Malai Kofta

You can find the planets of the Milky Way on your plates as Malai Kofta. The fried cheese cottage balls dunked in the creamy cashew sauce can satisfy the cravings of the palate for a tasty yet distinct flavour profile. The contrast in texture and flavour between the dumplings and gravy, in itself, is an element of attraction for the dish.

The gentle waves of pepper, olives and plums from Cabernet Sauvignon can cut through the creaminess of Malai Kofta. Soft tannin Cabernet Sauvignon can help avoid overwhelming your taste buds while preserving the delicate spices of that feast.

The GSM Blend can play the background music of fruity, spicy and acidic notes with a soothing tune in the savoury song of Malai Kofta.

Malai Kofta and red wine is an experience just like love. Both give you a roller-coaster of emotions and leave you wanting for more. You know, that is another reason why you should try these pairs.

Gosht Rogan Josh

The rich aroma and bright hues of this meat curry tease your taste buds and make you drool long before the first taste. The succulent lamb is seasoned and slow-cooked with the vibrant Kashmiri red chilli and the mix of spices is usually served with long-grained Basmati rice or naan. Mmm, that taste –  chef’s kiss!

Oh, your patience may waver as you watch your partner going for seconds or thirds and deep down, you might wish to keep this scrumptious meal all to yourself. But hey, no judgments here, in fact, we completely understand the temptation.

Now, is it just us or does the Gosht Rogan Josh, the jewel of Kashmiri cuisine, demand wines that can keep up with its intense flavours?

Well, well, the Shiraz can form a great synergy with the dish and counter the spiciness. And, the robust Zinfandel confidently handles the complexity of Rogan Josh.

Palak Paneer

Tasty treats can definitely be green, contrary to the popular notion. And, Palak Paneer is here to debunk all stereotypes about their blandness.

The gravy is proof that health and flavour can actually go hand in hand. This delectable dish has emerald geodes floating on the spiced sea of spinach, which treasures within itself the pearls of cottage cheese.

A mouthful of the pillowy soft paneer in the heavenly sauce combined with the Basmati rice may result in you devouring the entire plate and making both your heart and stomach full.

But wait, it tastes exquisite with wine. The light-bodied red, Beaujolais, having low tannins and bright fruit flavours can gorgeously contrast the earthiness of the dish. Pinot Noir is also an interesting choice to go with Palak Paneer as the tones of fruits and spices can leave you astonished.

Masala Dosa

If a dish can be your comfort food, your love language and a piece of your home and yourself, then undeniably, it has to be Masala Dosa. The fermented rice and lentil batter poured onto the hot tawa becomes a thin and crispy crêpe. It is packed with delicious potato fillings and folded to create a half-moon.

The glistening masala dosa dipped in the servings of Sambar or Coconut Chutney tastes otherworldly. This tantalising dish is a breakfast, lunch, dinner and most importantly, one of the finest works of edible art!

The earthy sweetness from Pinot Noir adds nuanced layers to the familiar flavours of the Dosa. It keeps your palate engaged with the fruity counters against the savoury dish.

Like the benevolent gaze of the sun upon the earth, you would feel the warmth radiate within you, brimming with true joy that stems from this pairing.

Butter Chicken

It is possible that the love for Butter Chicken can transcend logic and rationale. Because, let’s be honest, who can even refute the satisfying pleasure one could experience when eating the melting, tender chicken and the appetising creamy tomato curry that is glazed with butter?

Scoop up the yummy gravy with the fluffy naan or roti. You can taste a bite of paradise and get intoxicated with the lusciousness covered in your mouth. With the Butter Chicken, the classic aromatic Basmati Rice works wonders to captivate your taste buds too.

Now, the sparkling Italian red, Lambrusco, delicately hits and refreshes you with hints of cherry, berry, rhubarb and floral bliss of violet, making it a great drink to balance the rich flavours of Butter Chicken.

Cabernet Franc with lighter tannin is an intriguing match to the creaminess of the sauce, introducing a new dimension of taste with its herbal and fruity finish.

Aloo Gobi

Witness the yellow carnations bloom on your plate with Aloo Gobi. This vegetarian delight reflects the resourcefulness of Indian cuisine to utilise simple ingredients like potatoes and cauliflower florets to create a huge depth of flavours in a dish.

Aloo Gobi reminds you of those memories around that dinner table which was filled with laughter and stories, of belonging, of who you were, of where you came from. Ah, this humble food! It has the ability to evoke goosebumps, and to well up your eyes. Pretty fascinating, huh?

And, Valpolicella Ripasso steps up to extend this soulful experience. The elements of elegant spice and wild berries in this Venetian wine enhance the dish. The bright acidity and fruit flavours from Beaujolais can cleanse your palate and make you appreciate the beauty of this pair.

Guide For Flawless Pairing

  • Choose wines that mirror the spirit of the food – light ones for light plates and rich wines for decadent feasts.
  • Opt for wines free from oaks to gracefully complement the intricate flavours of Indian foods.
  • Wines with lower tannic levels let the spice from the treats gleam while caressing your palate.
  • To tackle the heat, reach for fruit-forward wines that echo the intensity of the dish.
  • Consider wines known for their bright acidity to balance the luxurious flavour of the food.

But, at the end of the day, what matters is your tastes and preferences and whether the dishes were able to impress you.

So, don’t hesitate to explore and experiment with unique pairings you haven’t tried before. Well, you could end up coupling some really good combinations that may leave you speechless, of course, in a good way!

Drink And Dine

The Madras Diaries is a gourmet garden with food flowers of different kinds from Dosa to Gulab Jamun and meadows of drinks from chai to wine. So, when in Amsterdam, make a stop at our restaurant and enjoy the authentic flavours of India alongside some revitalising brews.