Monday, February 18, 2013

Wine Tip of the Week - Food Pairing Series - Hot & Spicy Foods

Spicy foods such as Mexican, Indian, and Asian dishes can be a challenge to pair with wines.  Hot spices in food can interact with tannins in red wine, and wreck the flavor of the wine. Since I tend to look to red wine first whenever I can, if the food is not eye-wateringly spicy, I like a fruity red like Malbec, Grenache, or Zinfandel. Take care - as depending on the producer, these wines may contain a good amount of tannin.  One of my go-to reds for something with a bit of spice is a Finca Flichman Reserva Malbec.


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Even though you may be able to find a red wine that works, your safest bet that will conquer even the spiciest dish is a good  Gewürztraminer or Riesling that have a bit of sweetness.  Not a sweet wine like a dessert wine, but a wine that have some residual sweetness along with the normal acidity level. If you are looking at a Riesling from Germany, the term Spätlese or Auslese refer to wines made from grapes that were allowed to ripen longer - and therefore had more sugar.  These grapes can be used to make a "dry" wine, but that still has a nice hint of  sweetness.
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I can't tell you if these tips will help with a Ghost Chili - I don't think anything will help you there, but hopefully you can find a nice pairing to allow wine to be your beverage of choice when it's time to get spicy!!!

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