White Wine And Indian Food: All You Need To Know

White wine, often overshadowed by its red counterpart, has a unique charm that can beautifully complement Indian cuisine. While red wines are favoured for their robust flavours that pair well with hearty Indian dishes, white wines bring their own set of advantages, particularly with lighter, more nuanced flavours. As summer temperatures soar, the refreshing, crisp nature of white wines can be particularly appealing. Understanding which white wines to pair with specific Indian dishes can elevate your dining experience, bringing out the best in both the food and the wine. 

White wines, with their varied profiles ranging from dry and crisp to sweet and aromatic, offer a wide spectrum of possibilities when it comes to pairing with food. Their acidity and freshness can cut through rich and spicy dishes, providing a balanced and harmonious contrast. Let’s explore what makes white wine special and Indian dishes that pair exceptionally well with different styles of white wine. 

What is White Wine? 

White wine is made from the fermentation of the non-coloured pulp of grapes, which can be either green or yellow in colour. Unlike red wine, where the grape skins are left on during fermentation, white wine is typically made without skin contact, resulting in a lighter colour and a different flavour profile. White wines can range from bone-dry to very sweet, and their flavor profiles include citrus, floral, and stone fruit notes, often with a characteristic crispness due to higher acidity. 

3 Indian Dishes to Pair with White Wine 

Palak Paneer 

Pairing: Indian Sauvignon Blanc 

Palak Paneer, a beloved North Indian dish, features creamy spinach and soft paneer cubes cooked with aromatic spices. The herbaceous flavours and creamy texture of Palak Paneer demand a white wine with zesty acidity to cut through the richness and complement the green notes of the spinach. An Indian Sauvignon Blanc, like the Charosa Sauvignon Blanc, with its vibrant acidity and citrusy undertones, is an ideal match. This pairing enhances the dish's freshness and provides a lively contrast to the creamy sauce. 

Fried Fish or Pakoras 

Pairing: Indian Sparkling Wine 

Fried foods, such as crispy fish or vegetable pakoras, are a staple in Indian cuisine, especially as appetizers or snacks. The oily and crunchy texture of these dishes calls for a wine that can cleanse the palate and provide a refreshing contrast. An Indian sparkling wine, like the Chandon Brut, with its racy acidity and effervescence, pairs wonderfully with fried foods. The bubbles help cut through the oiliness, leaving your palate refreshed and ready for the next bite. This pairing is particularly delightful, making your snack time more enjoyable and sophisticated. 

Hyderabadi Mirch ka Salan or Bharva Mirch 

Pairing: Indian Chenin Blanc or Riesling 

Hyderabadi Mirch ka Salan and Bharva Mirch are spicy dishes featuring stuffed or simmered chillies in a tangy and flavourful sauce. The heat and complexity of these dishes benefit greatly from a white wine with a touch of sweetness to balance the spice. An off-dry Indian Chenin Blanc or Riesling, like the Sula Chenin Blanc or Sula Riesling, works wonderfully. These wines offer a slightly sweet profile that helps offset the heat and complements the spice, enhancing the overall dining experience. The sweetness and acidity of the wine bring out the nuanced flavours of the chillies and the sauce, creating a harmonious and enjoyable pairing.