A red wine pairing for Indian food? I tried a few times and thought it wasn’t possible. I had hopes for one zinfandel that wound up creating a big clash with the spicy food. That one sent me back to more white wine and Indian food pairing, like this Gewurzstraminer I mentioned recently.
Then someone pouring a Carmenere at a Pairings tasting mused that it perhaps could work with Indian, based on the hint of cumin spice in the wine. So I grabbed a bottle of the 2009 Apaltagua Reserva Carmenere to try for myself. Soon thereafter, I ordered some beef curry and aloo palak to try this red wine pairing for Indian food.
A bit of decanting softened the wine, showing blackberry fruit along with the spice. There was a bit of oak, which gave the wine structure to stand up to the beef curry, and the spice and fruit in the wine’s taste blended fairly harmoniously with the flavors of the food. We had aloo palak (potatoes in a creamy spinach sauce) along with the beef; as you might suspect, the Carmenere tasted better with the beef.
I would not call this a perfect pairing, but good enough to try red wine paired with Indian food again! Have you found a red wine pairing for Indian food that you like?
Note: I originally wrote about this pairing on Cooking Chat awhile back. I’m gradually pulling together my Indian food and wine pairing posts here on Wine Pairing Weekend to make them easy to find. I’ve found Indian food and wine pairing to be one of the most sought after pairing articles I’ve shared. You might more readily find a more recent vintage of this Carmenere, or find something with similar qualities.