Everyone loves a good curry, right?
Some like it hot, others definitely not. Nobody can deny that they are some of the most flavoursome dishes you’ll ever have the pleasure of tasting.
But can you really enjoy wines with curry?
Well, not all wines that’s for sure, but if you choose your curry wisely and keep the chilli heat to a sensible level, there are some that work extremely well.
Here are three of my personal favourite curries with wines that match brilliantly.
Keralan Fish Curry paired with Sherwood ‘Stoney Range’ Pinot Gris
This simple, tasty curry from India’s south coast normally focuses on smaller fish like sardines or anchovies but it actually works equally well with larger, meatier fish like Cod, Hake or even Monkfish.
Throughout the Kerala state, this red curry is served with quite a punch, so it’s important to find a recipe that allows for reducing the heat level without losing the flavour intensity.
Normally I’m wary of Jamie Oliver’s recipes, as he’s notoriously fond of chilli, however his version of Keralan Fish Curry is delicious and you can make a couple of tiny adjustments. Use a medium-strength green chilli and remove the seeds and cut down the chilli powder from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon.
I love to pair this with the Sherwood Stoney Range Pinot Gris from Waipara in New Zealand. This is a complex wine with lovely texture and concentration and it can take a little heat as well as add another fruit dimension to the curry. You’ll find peach and pear flavours with elegant floral notes backed by refreshing acidity. Absolutely delicious!
Sri Lankan Chicken Curry paired with ‘B’ by La Grande Bauquière Côtes de Provence Rosé
This is another simple curry that builds flavour through the use of many different spices and has almost endless interpretations. Adding coconut milk is a great way of tempering the heat as well as adding a rich creaminess to the dish.
Dini, aka ‘the flavor bender’, is a native Sri Lankan who grew up in NZ, travelled extensively and has now settled in Canada. Her recipe for an authentic Sri Lankan Chicken Curry is simply divine, and allows you to control the spice heat depending on your personal preference.
Even if you like a bit more heat in this dish, the ‘B’ by La Grande Bauquière can work with it thanks to the wine’s acid structure and the high proportion of Grenache and Cinsault used in this blend, 40% each. The remaining 20% of Syrah adds a solid red fruit base to the touch of lychee that comes from the other varieties and makes this really refreshing.
Massaman Beef Curry paired with Wild & Wilder ‘The Opportunist Shiraz’
One of my all-time favourite curries has to be Massaman Beef with its cinnamon twist and melt-in-the-mouth beef pieces. Originating from Malaysia, it was brought to Thailand by travelling Persian merchants during the 1600s, who added their own influences to the recipe.
This curry takes a bit longer to create, allowing for the beef to render down and tenderise fully. BBC Good Food’s recipe for Massaman Beef Curry is as good as you’re likely to find and has an incredible depth of flavour.
This curry needs an equally full-flavoured red wine to match and the Wild & Wilder ‘The Opportunist Shiraz’ is spot on. More lifted aromas and made in a fresher style than many Aussie Shiraz’ at this price point, this has all the purple fruit intensity and peppery spice that characterises this popular grape variety and is well worth a try!
This time next month, the nation celebrates National Curry Week (4th-9th October), so it’s a perfect time to stock up on a few bottles and try out some of these fabulous recipes.