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BBhasin

Reds with Indian Cuisine

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While the fruity and flowery whites with their sweetness like the Gwerts, reislings, fume blancs, the chennins etc are much touted with spicy cuisine I would be very grateful to all the knowlegeble wine folks out there,who are also familiar with Indian cuisine, to steer me towards some reds that my guests might enjoy.

Thank you


Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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Just my humble opinion: Pinot Noir - the be-all, end-all Food Wine. The addage that Pinot Noir goes with everything never seems wrong.

If I am invited to someone's house for dinner and I don't know what is being served, I bring a Pinot. When in doubt on a cuisine, I try Pinot.

Never misses!

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There's an acquaintance of mine from the U.K. who swears by Bordeaux with Indian cuisine. I've never tried it (I usually resort to beer). The conventional wisdom (right or wrong) usually pairs wines with some residual sugar to tame the spicy hot quality of the dishes. A red in that category would be brachetto - a sparkling Italian red with some sweetness. A Barbera frizzante I had over this past weekend would also be interesting to try.

I don't think there's one (or even two) specific red wines that will be THE ones to pair with Indian cuisine. The best advice is to try a couple and see how well they work for you.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I think the heat on indian food wipes out a good bottle of wine (or a bad one). Better off drinking beer.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Bikky, the sommelier at Amma in NYC, is a master of pairing wines with Indian food. I had previously been under the impression that all I could drink was beer too, until he turned my head. He paired an Australian shiraz that turned out to be dynamite with a variety of well-spiced dishes. This was not an intuitive combo to me until I tried it. Check out this thread on Amma for a lot of discussion on wine pairings and Bikky's magic.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I know and love BBhasin's restaurant, and other than the fact it's excellent, the food is not outrageously "hot". (Unfortunately, I moved to the other side of town and have not really had the chance to go recently).

I was attempting to think of it's closest relative in terms of taste, and thought of some of the spicier Spanish tapas. Perhaps tempranillo or other spanish reds.

However, since these have not quite made mass market, they may intimidate some customers at your price point, so maybe some CA blends like the Bonny Doon Big House red.

And perhaps push a rose or two along with a couple of reds.


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Beaujolais Villages - slightly chilled. A fruity style of Cotes du Rhone would also work well.

No one ever seems to think of Beaujolais anymore these days.

For spicy or spiced foods wines that have fresh fruit sweetness and/or some residual sugar match best. You want to avoid high tannin or high alcohol as these aspects are accentuated by spicy foods.

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Another choice would be a Cabernet Franc

Rob Roy

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No one ever seems to think of Beaujolais anymore these days.

No one, amigo?

You don't read my notes, do you?

Best, Jim


www.CowanCellars.com

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No one ever seems to think of Beaujolais anymore these days.

No one, amigo?

You don't read my notes, do you?

Best, Jim

OK I stand technically corrected. There is at least one person who thinks about Beaujolais, but you are a lonely one Jim.

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Bikky, the sommelier at Amma in NYC, is a master of pairing wines with Indian food. I had previously been under the impression that all I could drink was beer too, until he turned my head. He paired an Australian shiraz that turned out to be dynamite with a variety of well-spiced dishes. This was not an intuitive combo to me until I tried it. Check out this thread on Amma for a lot of discussion on wine pairings and Bikky's magic.

Big fruity reds with an emphasys on soft tannins can do the job. Many Australian wines fall into this category namely oak flavored not aged.

Brad's law alcohol frizzante can do very nicely as well.

Pinot Noir on the other hand tends to be lost - or at least the one's I tried.


Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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Beaujolais Villages - slightly chilled. A fruity style of Cotes du Rhone would also work well.

No one ever seems to think of Beaujolais anymore these days.

For spicy or spiced foods wines that have fresh fruit sweetness and/or some residual sugar match best. You want to avoid high tannin or high alcohol as these aspects are accentuated by spicy foods.

Thanks. we carried a Louis Jadot but patrons tend to stick to the cabs, merlots and the chards


Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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Beaujolais Villages - slightly chilled. A fruity style of Cotes du Rhone would also work well.

No one ever seems to think of Beaujolais anymore these days.

For spicy or spiced foods wines that have fresh fruit sweetness and/or some residual sugar match best. You want to avoid high tannin or high alcohol as these aspects are accentuated by spicy foods.

Thanks. we carried a Louis Jadot but patrons tend to stick to the cabs, merlots and the chards

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Customers insisting on drinking wines that are bad matches with the food they are eating is more of a problem with spicy and/or spiced foods than it is with more bland dishes. What dry red wine doesn't go with a steak?

The only answer is a very patient sommelier.

I remember watching people drink red wines at our local BYO sushi bar when I lived in Chicago. The idea of uni with a good dose of wasabi followed by a red wine is well...I don't want to talk about it.

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Hmm, can't think of any reds off the top of my head.

Whites: Champagne or Riesling I think would work ok.

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Bikky, the sommelier at Amma in NYC, is a master of pairing wines with Indian food. I had previously been under the impression that all I could drink was beer too, until he turned my head. He paired an Australian shiraz that turned out to be dynamite with a variety of well-spiced dishes. This was not an intuitive combo to me until I tried it. Check out this thread on Amma for a lot of discussion on wine pairings and Bikky's magic.

Listen to Doc.

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Beaujolais & Beer.

Nothing with any tannin.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Try a Rioja; they can go well with spicy foods.


'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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with heavily spiced (but not necessarily searingly hot) Indian food we've enjoyed a few different Zinfandel's. With some (mostly vegetarian) takeout I recently served one from Peach Canyon alongside alsace gewurz and while the white tamed heat better, I found the zin matched really well with the clove/fenugreek/black pepper flavours in chana masala, the anise/burnt garlic flavours in tarka dal, and a few other dishes. It could not stand up to the lamb vindaloo nor lime pickle, but I'd be amazed if there's a wine that could (NV sparkling?)


"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

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Lots of good advice so far. I'll echo the suggestions for soft, fruity, low-tannin wines. I would also caution against anything too oaky.

A bold move would be to eliminate the "bad" wine parings from your wine list. If someone laments the fact that no oaky Napa Cab is offered, have the sommellier explain to him that that style of wine clashes with traditonal Indian food and you don't want to facilitate a train wreck.

If I were designing a wine list for an Indian restaurant, It would be heavy on the fragrant, unaoked whites (no high alcohol, oaky Chardonnay) and low acid, low oak reds. I would also offer a selection of rosés and sparkling wines.


"Enjoy every sandwich."

Warren Zevon, 10/30/02

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