Paula’s Wines of the Week – 3rd October 2022

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 3rd October 2022

It’s National Curry Week between 3rd to 9th October. This annual event, celebrating all things curry, is now in its twenty-fourth year! And what better way to honour the nation’s favourite cuisine than to go beyond the usual lager and curry combination and discover what wine matches spicy foods that contain chilli.

The best wines to match spicy foods are sparkling whites that have a slight sweetness. This immediately rules out most Champagnes and English fizz as their bread and lemon flavours are just too sharp and won’t enhance the flavour of your Korma or Lamb Galouti Kebab.

So what we’re looking for are sparkling wines that have some sweetness and an attractive floral aroma. The gently sparkling wines from Portugal known as Vinho Verde are just the ticket. Try Aldi’s Mino Moutinho Vinho Verde rosé at £5.99 or The Wine Society’s own-label Vinho Verde (£6.95).

Their semi-sweet flavour will neutralise some of the heat from any chilli hotness in your curry (just as when you’re cooking a curry adding a teaspoon of sugar will stop it tasting too hot), while the bubbles in the wine will burst on your tongue and so feel refreshing.

There is a place for red wines in this curry matching as long as they aren’t too tannic and mouth drying. So try slightly sweet reds, like Jam Shed Shiraz, or sparkling reds like McGuigan Black Label Sparkling Shiraz (Sainsbury’s £7.50). The deeper flavours of these red wines are a great match to hotter curries like vindaloo.

Wines recommended by

Graham Beck Vintner’s Selection Brut
£12 Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Majestic
A food-friendly South African sparkling wine with light and creamy aromas of melon and banana followed by sweet-sour flavours of nutty apple that expands in the mouth. A great wine.

Friexenet Cava Brut Cordon Negro
£8 many supermarkets
Mix this refreshing Spanish Cava with some sweet Muscat white wine, like Barefoot Moscato (£5.75 Tesco, Sainsbury’s Asda) at half and half in your glass to create your own peachy tasting fizz that’ll match many curried dishes.

Stormhoek Petillant Sweet Rosé 5.5% alcohol
£4 Co-op
At just 5.5% alcohol with a touch of sparkle (or petillant) this sweet pink wine made with the aromatic Moscato grape variety is a simple slurp best enjoyed straight from the fridge.

Luscombe Organic Damascene rosé bubbly non-alcoholic
£1.78 Luscombe, Abel & Cole
This sparkling pink blend of water, Muscat grape juice, rose and orange blossom water plus carbon dioxide for the fizz is a perfectly pleasant alternative to wine. Flavours of rose water (like in Turkish Delight) plus sweet lemonade are here.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2022