Top 5 wines to go with curry

Winter is here and that can only mean one thing – it’s curry time again!

by: Cathy Marston | 18 Mar 2011

I was born and brought up in Yorkshire, close to Bradford which was the curry capital of the UK for many, many years, but for some reason, I never really got into them until after my varsity-days down south. Nowadays, I love a good curry, especially because it encourages me to try a range of wines which I don’t normally go for – the off-dry ones.
Off-dry styles of wine really work well with curries because the slight sweetness goes some way to neutralising the heat. Off-dry wines are often very aromatic as well, so the spices of a nice curry can be picked up by the ginger/cardamom/allspice notes in the wines as well. And finally, think about the ingredients in your curry – if you are adding fruity ingredients, coconut or other nuts then those are all flavours you can either contrast or complement in the wine too.
So here we are - a few suggestions of great things to drink with your curry. Enjoy!
Neethlingshof Gewurztraminer 2010     R45 from leading retailers          
An intensely aromatic version of this German grape – plenty of Turkish delight, cinnamon and clove flavours here. It’s quite a robust wine unlike others Gewurz’s which are quite delicate but would work best with a sweeter style of curry – perhaps a Cape Malay Seafood affair would be good.
Jason’s Hill Wooded White 2010              R35 from the farm
Made from Nouvelle, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and aged in 100% new American oak, this is packed full of coconut with lots of lemongrass notes and a creamy finish. An absolute natural for all thai food, a good Thai Green Curry would suit this to perfection.
Fairview Viognier 2009                 R70 from the farm
This was one of the first single varietal viogniers ever made in SA and is still up there with the best. Full of delicate ginger and spice notes with apricot fruit and cream, it’s a great wine to pair with a good chicken Korma or any other creamy mild curry.
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2010         R62 from leading retailers
Chenin is another variety with works well with spicy foods, but make sure it is one of the richer, riper styles and the best way to find those is to look for ones which have been in oak. This has been lightly-kissed with wood to add a little creaminess and vanilla to the crispy apples and pears and has enough weight to handle quite robust spices and meat curries.
Hartenberg Weisser Riesling 2009                           R66 from Wine Concepts
A great version of one of the wine world’s greatest grapes. This packs quite a sweet punch at the start but is so balanced out by lively acidity and fresh appley fruit that it can cope with all sorts of heat without being cloying or sticky. Probably best with something delicate and aromatic so perhaps think Thai, Chinese or Indonesian rather than Indian.

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