Many of us browse the shelves at the liquor store in hope of finding something inspiring, only to get lost in the plethora of different labels and cultivars. If you do not already know what you’re looking for, wine shopping can be a daunting task. We have decided to take it from a different perspective and give you some wine options matched to some of the most popular cuisines.
If you are a lover of pastas and pizza, we have good news for you! It is rather difficult to pair these foods with the wrong wines; generally, a good go-to for these rich dishes is a Chardonnay. However, if you are having a heavy tomato-based dish, you might want a bolder red wine such as a Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz so that the tanginess of the wine still comes through.
Sweeter or off-dry white wines work wonderfully with the herbs and spices used in Thai food. A Chenin Blanc or a Riesling are our two favourites to pair with this dynamic cuisine. The tropical fruit on the palate provides the perfect contrast to carry through the fresh flavours of Thai dishes.
Rosé is surprisingly a wine that pairs superbly with the majority of Indian food and it is an easy choice when you can’t quite decide what the wine for the night will be. Alternatively, Lamb Curry matches well with a glass of oaked Chardonnay and seafood, chicken or vegetable curries work well with the acidity and fresh fruit notes of a Riesling or Pinot Grigio.
A nice reprieve from the standard wines, bubbly wines such as MCC or Sparkling wine are great options with the hot chilli in Mexican food, as well as a Rosé which pairs well with most dishes. For those fresh and spicy dishes, a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc carry the flavours of lime, cilantro and jalapeño very well. The smokier dishes containing chipotle or grilled meats will pair well with a Malbec or Rhone blend wines.
The majority or Korean dishes are heavily spiced and therefore a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a light, dry Riesling are great choices. You want to avoid any wine that is too sweet, fruity or complex. Korean BBQ is smokey, sweet and flavoursome and therefore, pairs perfectly with a medium bodied red wine, such as a Shiraz or Merlot. Avoid wine that is too heavy or complex as will compete with the natural flavours of the BBQ.
We hope that this little taster has encouraged you to cook up a storm and has also helped with your wine shopping adventures.