So, you’re wondering what wine goes with Indian food, right? I totally get it. You’ve got this super yummy plate of spicy curry or tikka masala, and you’re thinking, “I’ve got to have the right wine with this!” Well, mate, you’re in for a treat because I’ve got you covered.

Here’s the thing – pairing wine with any food enhances the dining experience. But Indian food? It’s a whole other level! With the vast variety of flavors, from spicy to sweet, tangy to creamy, you want a wine that complements the dish just right. Get the pairing right, and your taste buds are gonna throw a party. Promise.

Pairing Wine with Different Types of Indian Dishes

Pairing with meat-based dishes

Chicken and lamb dishes in Indian cuisine? They’re royalty! Rich in flavors, these dishes need a wine that’ll compliment and not overshadow them.

Pairing with chicken dishes

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Ever bit into a tender piece of chicken dripping with spicy gravy? Imagine coupling that with a wine that caresses the flavor rather than assaulting it. Here’s where lighter whites or soft reds can work wonders. Thinking of a chicken tikka masala or a tandoori chicken? A velvety wine will be your best pal here.

Pairing with lamb dishes

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Lamb in Indian cuisine, like rogan josh or lamb biryani, often has a robust flavor profile. It screams for a wine with a bit more body, something that can stand up to the strong flavors but not bully them.

Pairing with vegetarian dishes

Who said veg dishes are any less in flavor? Pshh!

Pairing with paneer dishes

Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is the heartthrob of vegetarian Indian dishes. Be it paneer tikka or palak paneer (spinach and paneer), it’s creamy and versatile. A light, fruity wine can be the cherry on top for these dishes.

Pairing with vegetable curries

Vegetable curries, oh boy, where do I start? From bhindi masala (okra) to gobi masala (cauliflower), each has a flavor note. Generally, a light to medium-bodied wine that doesn’t trample over the dish’s subtleties is what you’re looking for.

Pairing with spicy dishes

For those who like it hot!

Pairing with vindaloo

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Vindaloo – it’s the daredevil of Indian dishes. Hot, spicy, and oh-so-delicious! With such a fiery dish, you’d want a wine that can cool things down. Think refreshing and slightly sweet.

Pairing with masala dishes

Masala dishes are a mix of spicy and tangy. They’re flavorful without always being ‘burn-your-tongue’ spicy. A wine that balances out the tanginess yet celebrates the spice is ideal here.

Pairing with creamy dishes

Mmm… the creamy delights!

Pairing with korma

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Korma is like that soft lullaby that sends you to sleep – it’s soothing, creamy, and nutty. A wine that echoes its creamy texture while adding a hint of zest is what we’re aiming for.

Pairing with butter chicken

Butter chicken is a global favorite for a reason. Creamy, tangy, and just a hint of spice. It’s like a hug in a dish. A medium-bodied wine, perhaps with a hint of fruity undertones, will make you want to hug the dish right back.

Pairing with tomato-based dishes

The tangy rulers!

Pairing with jalfrezi

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Jalfrezi dishes are vibrant, tangy, with a hint of sweetness. They’re the life of the party! To accompany such a dish, think of a wine that’s playful, zesty, and just a bit cheeky.

Pairing with tikka masala

This is where the tang of tomatoes meets creamy goodness. Tikka masala, be it chicken or paneer, deserves a wine that can waltz with both these flavors effortlessly.

Best Wines for Indian Food

Overview of suitable wines

When people ask, “what wine goes with Indian food,” they often expect a one-size-fits-all answer. But nah, it ain’t that simple! Indian dishes are as diverse as the number of festivals celebrated in the country. So, let’s explore the kind of wines that play nice with this cuisine.

White and rosé wines for Indian food

White wines and rosé? They’re like the cool kids in the wine world. Fresh, zesty, and light.


Riesling is the rockstar. It’s sweet, aromatic, and has that tiny kick of acidity. Perfect to mellow down a spicy curry or amplify the flavors of a mild one.

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc? Think of it as that cool breeze on a hot summer day. It’s fresh, fruity, and slightly sweet. Pair it with a spicy paneer tikka or a tangy samosa, and you’re in for a treat.

Sparkling rosé

Now, sparkling rosé is for those days when you want to feel fancy. Its bubbles and light fruitiness cut through rich, creamy dishes like butter chicken or malai kofta, balancing out the cream with its effervescence.

Red wines for Indian food

Red wines, with their bold flavors and rich aromas, can be a fantastic match for certain Indian dishes.


Gamay is like that friend who gets along with everyone. It’s light, fruity, and super versatile. Be it a spicy lamb curry or a tangy vegetable dish, Gamay’s got your back.


Ever heard of Lemberger? It’s a bit of an unsung hero. With its spicy notes and berry flavors, it’s like it was made for Indian food! Especially for those dishes that pack a punch in the spice department.

Understanding Indian Cuisine

Diversity in Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine isn’t just about curry, you know. It’s an explosion of flavors, derived from the rich tapestry of India’s diverse regions. From the tangy fish curries of Bengal to the coconut-rich dishes of Kerala, from the spicy wonders of Rajasthan to the subtle flavors of Uttar Pradesh – it’s a whole spectrum.

Now, while this means there’s always something new to try (score!), it also poses a tricky question: what wine goes with Indian food from this region or that?

Common ingredients and flavors in Indian dishes

Ever peeked into an Indian kitchen? It’s like walking into a mini spice market. Coriander, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more! And that’s what gives Indian dishes their distinct flavors.

Apart from the spices, you’ve got herbs like cilantro and mint. Then there are the base flavors – onions, garlic, ginger. And don’t even get me started on the tangy tamarind or the creamy coconut. Mmm…

Role of spices in Indian food

Now, the spices don’t just exist to blow your head off, okay? Each spice has its role to play. For instance, cumin adds an earthy touch, cardamom adds a hint of sweetness, and red chili? Well, yeah, that’s there to test how brave you are! Just kidding (or am I?).

Each spice shapes the dish’s profile, making it sweet, tangy, spicy, or a mix of everything. And it’s this blend of flavors that makes finding the answer to “what wine goes with Indian food” such an exciting quest.

FAQ about what wine goes with Indian food

What wine pairs best with spicy Indian food?

Oh man, spicy Indian food – it’s a whole world of flavors, right? So, your best bet would be a semi-sweet wine, like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer.

The slight sweetness can really help balance out those spicy flavors. You could also go for a rosé with enough acidity to cut through the heat, or even an off-dry Chenin Blanc.

Can red wine be paired with Indian food?

You bet! Red wine can totally work with Indian food. It’s all about the right kind of red, though. Look for a light to medium-bodied red with low tannins, like a Grenache or Pinot Noir.

These wines won’t overpower the complex flavors of Indian dishes, but rather harmonize with them. You want to create a symphony, not a shouting match, if you get what I mean.

Is it okay to pair white wine with Indian curry?

Absolutely! White wine and curry can be a match made in heaven. Here’s the thing – curry often has this wonderful balance of heat and creamy coconut or yoghurt-based sauces, right?

That’s where a wine like Viognier or an oaked Chardonnay can step in, with their rich and slightly creamy profiles. They just wrap around those flavors like a warm hug.

What wine would you recommend for mild Indian dishes?

For milder Indian dishes, I’d go for a medium-bodied white, such as a Marsanne or Roussanne. These wines offer a nice weight that can handle the depth of Indian flavors without being overwhelmed.

A dry Rosé could also be a refreshing option, with its bright acidity and delicate fruity notes.

Can I pair Indian food with rosé wine?

Oh, definitely! In fact, a dry rosé can be surprisingly versatile when it comes to Indian food. It’s got that bright acidity and crispness that can cut through richer dishes, while still having enough fruit character to stand up to the spices.

Plus, it’s just darn refreshing, which is always a plus in my book.

Does sparkling wine go with Indian food?

Think outside the box and go sparkling, I say. A Prosecco or a Cava has that effervescence that adds a whole new layer of contrast to the meal.

They’re light and fresh, which is great for offsetting heavier dishes, and the bubbles can help cleanse the palate. Or if you’re feeling fancy, a Brut Champagne pairs well with creamier dishes.

What wine should I choose for tandoori dishes?

Tandoori dishes, ah, those smoky flavors are just brilliant, aren’t they? To complement that, you’ll want something with a bit of oomph. A Zinfandel or a Syrah, with their dark fruit notes and hint of spice, would be a stellar match.

You’ll get this beautiful interplay between the smokiness of the tandoori and the depth of the wine.

How do I pair wine with Indian vegetarian dishes?

With vegetarian dishes, you’ve got a whole range of flavors and textures to play with. My suggestion? An aromatic white, like a Sauvignon Blanc or Grüner Veltliner.

They have this vibrant acidity and citrusy notes that work beautifully with veggies. But you could also try a lighter red, like a Beaujolais, for earthier dishes.

Can I serve dessert wine with Indian sweets?

Indian sweets are famously rich and flavorful. You want a dessert wine that can hold its own, like a late harvest Riesling or a Sauternes.

They’ve got that luscious sweetness, but with enough acidity to prevent things from getting cloying. It’s like a dance of sugar and spice and everything nice.

How should I choose a wine if I’m serving a mix of Indian dishes?

If you’re doing a mix of dishes, versatility is key. Go for something like a Viognier or a Gewurztraminer. They’re aromatic and flavorful enough to hold their own against a variety of spices, but they also have a nice balance that keeps them from overpowering anything.

You want to create a harmony of flavors, where each dish gets its moment to shine.

Conclusion on what wine goes with Indian food

Alright, to wrap this up, pairing wines with Indian food? It’s an art, a science, and a bit of intuition all rolled into one. From the light and zesty whites to the robust and flavorful reds, there’s a wine for every Indian dish out there.

And hey, don’t stress too much over “the perfect pairing.” Trust your taste buds. Experiment. Throw a mini wine-tasting party with your pals. And most importantly, have fun with it! Because at the end of the day, the best wine that goes with Indian food is the one you love.

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