Curry + vino = early autumn necessity

Autumn time is curry time. Why? Because the soothing warmth of Indian food may have been invented in sweltering climes, but it sure is the perfect antidote to the cold-weather blues. 


As for wine, we really don't need to tell you why that's great – do we? 


Anyway. Fuse the two and you've got a match made in early September heaven.


But don't just grab the nearest bottle of dry white assuming it'll be fine with your paneer tikka. Oh no.


We've tapped up vino expert Sunaina Sethi, co-owner and wine buyer for Michelin-starred Trishna and Gymkhana restaurants, to learn the secrets of perfectly paired booze and biriyani. 


You are welcome. 


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1 | "Rules? There is zero need for rules when pairing Indian food and wine. The country is so vast, and with all the different spices and all the different cooking techniques, it's impossible to generalise. The way to go is to trust your judgement – and keep tasting. If you like what happens when you drink a certain wine with something you rustled up at home, then it’s a good match." 


2 | "That's not to say that a few pointers can't get you started. Look out for aromatic wines – sometimes sugar helps with spicy dishes – and notes of ripe fruit." 


3 | "And try to avoid high acidity and very light-bodied wines, as they're less likely to work with highly spiced dishes."  


4 | "When matching with Indian food, it is important to take the spice levels, cooking methods and key elements of the dish into account. For example, if you have a meat kebab or tikka cooked in the tandoor, look for a medium- to full-bodied red wine that has notes of ripe fruit."


5 | "On the other hand, if you have a chaat dish with a range of textures and a combination of spicy, sweet, tangy and salty flavours, a fresh Riesling with a touch of residual sugar would complement the flavours very well."


6 | "A few myths I'd like to dispel around wine and Indian food: people assume that wine needs to be super-sweet or aromatic to pair with Indian food. Although some sugar can help combat the spicier dishes, I am a firm believer in experimenting and you should always taste a wide range of wines (I know, such a hard task...)."


7 | "Fizzy wines can be a gorgeous match with Indian food if you're in a celebratory mood. Vintage Champagne is particularly great." 



Sunaina is pairing Little Beauty wines alongside Fleur McCree as part of the Unexpected Pairings series on Wednesday 2 September. More details here:


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