Red wine with curry, chillies, wasabi etc

I have red wine with hot curry - but the general consensus is that one can’t taste the wine and lager is the drink to have…

Spare 2 minutes to listen to yesterdays’ Kitchen Cabinet (series 32, episode 29) on catchup for next 28 days

BBC Radio 4 - The Kitchen Cabinet, Series 32, Home Economics: Episode 29 from minute 17 - 19

Professor Barry Smith does an experiment with other members on the panel and explains why there’s ‘no reason not to taste wine’ because different receptors experience chilli ‘heat’ and wine.

He recommends heavy reds, Malbec especially, and says that they will appear to be even fruitier.

Wines high in alcohol where you might experience alcohol burn, don’t burn with ‘spicy’ foods because any burn is masked by the burn from chillies.

Not just chillies, wasabi and mustard also


I’ve been told that chillis and tannins don’t mix, one exaggerates the other. I can’t remember which way round it is, but I avoid mixing tannic reds with spicy food. Not averse to other styles of red with spicy food though.


Yes, there’s no logic in our behaviour sometimes. I probably wouldn’t have red wine with a hot curry but wouldn’t think twice about it with a spicy sausage (merguez for example) or a chilli con carne.


I thought the wine to go with curry was lightly chilled Loire Cabernet franc? Something about the secondary flavour profile. Never tried it myself. I am conditioned by an upbringing in the 90s to believe that curry is consumed alongside ice cold lager exclusively.


Oaked Malbec and Chilli works for me - and that chilli should be slow cooked, chunks of mystery meat, depth of spice + chocolate (not ‘napalm bolognaise’ to quote Fearnley-Whittingstall)

However… and I’ve done a lot of research on this… reds don’t work with curry, instead go: Alsace Pinot Gris or Gewurtz. Even stranger… I would go rosé with a cous-cous.


chunks of mystery meat

As in the “meat curry” you get in high street takeaways?

There was once a pet shop in Cobham, Surrey, which closed down. Soon after the premises reopened as a Chinese takeaway.:grimacing:


Ahh… not so much ‘mystery’ regarding the species, but mystery regarding the cut of meat. To my mind the meat needs to full of gnarly bits & tendon, which break down to gelatin eventually.


You forgot IMO :slight_smile: Did you listen to the clip on the link ?

Reds works for me: I never countenance an Alsace PG or ( shudder) GW

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We were having a spicy dish a couple of weeks ago, and because wife fancied some red, I was asking myself the same question - we settled on a 100% Mourvedre, slightly chilled; the sweetness married quite nicely with the spice, and it worked surprisingly well.

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I shall have to listen to this as it seems to support what I have always thought. I’ve always enjoyed drinking red wine of pretty much all types with the spicy sort of food I like to make at the weekend and find that it matched much better than either white wine, which just doesn’t seem to have enough substance except for the most pungent wine with very fragrant south East Asian food, or beer which just makes me feel full when I have it with a meal.
Besides, something like a daube may have some spice, and orange which seems to clash far more than chilli to me, and yet that would seem a very natural thing to accompany with most reds from the midi.

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I’m with @peterm here - red wine with a curry at home.

(I’ll have a Kingfisher or Cobra when I’m out though.)

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Would a young Port work with a spicy curry?
Heat, alcohol, tannins and sweetness.
Never tried it myself.

I tend to drink whatever I fancy with curry so usually it will be red wine. Shiraz, GSM, Malbec etc. Rojan Josh and a Cab or Rioja? I don’t drink much Pinotage but image that would work pretty well.

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My apologies - indeed “in my opinion” - perhaps I should have listened to the clip. I will trade you… Tuesday night I shall launch into a madras with a hefty Malbec… and in return you try a Thai green curry with a chilled GWZ ?

Possibly a win / win ?


Very sporting of you @lapin_rouge.

I won’t play my part tho’, so don’t feel bound to open a Malbec - as always have what you know you like.

I ate a lot of Green Curry when I was in Thailand and have never had one in the UK that came anywhere close.

And I don’t have any GWZ, nor intend to get any as not only do I dislike it but more importantly so does Mrs M.

Unfortunately we are at the end of a wine expedition; over the past 50 years we have drunk almost every thing and now know our likes and dislikes.

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Fair enough… I’m going for the curry & red in anyway.

I know what you mean about Thai green curry, I worked out there a couple of years ago. If it’s any help… the Indian / Bangladesh curries we have here, resemble even less the ones I have eaten over there!


Most ‘Indian’ restaurants have appalling wine lists, so I understand why…

Our local for many years had a standard printed list that must have dated from when the restaurant first opened, thus favourites like Liebfraumilch, Hock etc. I saw the owner buying wines to restock in the nearby Majestic. We used to go most weeks and we shared a St Emilion.

The posh one we go to now has a list from Bibendum and we have a Zinfandel from Delicato who produce so many different labels - including TWS very own old vine Zinfandel


Once again - you are so right! :smiley:

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A pseudo Chinese chilli pork belly dish - with South African Bordeaux blend - we are nothing if not multi-cultural here at Chateau Lapin (Yorkshire).

What can I say - the red wine was great ! lovely touch of oak which went well with the dish. Please don’t be alarmed by the quantity of pork… plenty of crunchy veg underneath.

Slab of pork belly was slow-cooked for several hours at the weekend - vitally, with rind on - and then cubed and shallow fried this evening dusted with cornflour. The rind is the best part, slightly crunchy exterior but melt-in-the-mouth.

Conclusion> RED does go well with chilli dishes. I concede the point.


Red wine and anything spicy just gives me the hiccups! It’s a no go area for me unfortunately so I keep them separate.

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Respect @lapin_rouge !

Looks a delicious meal and I’m glad the red wine experiment wasn’t a disaster!

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