Monday, June 16, 2014

Wine Tip of the Week: Eat This Drink That Series - Spicy Hot Dishes

Feeling hot, hot, hot?  Dishes that are spicy hot from cuisines such as Mexican, Indian, and Thai can prove challenging to pair up with wine, but... challenge accepted!

Eating this?:
  • Dishes with heat from the capsicum in peppers. Foods with lots of spice, but without the heat are not quite as challenging to pair.
Drink this:
  • A wine with some sweetness from residual sugar or the perception of sweetness from being a very fruit forward wine - Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and some Rosés provide that sweetness.  Fruity Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Pinot Gris will also work nicely.
  • Bubbles! A simply, fruity sparkling wine can be a great companion as the fruit will balance the spice, and the carbonation can help cleanse the palate of the heat from the dish.
Avoid this:
  • Big wines. Spicy hot food will accentuate the alcohol in the wine, make high tannins wines taste even more tannic, and highly oaked wines will take even "oakier." This holds true for big reds as well as whites - an oaky Chardonnay will not pair well with the heat either.
  • Subtle, delicate wines.  You don't want to break out any of you old bottles, or super subtle wines or they will be lost against the strength of the heat in the food.  Your taste buds won't be able to detect the subtleties of the wine after being bombarded by the heat of capsicum!

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