Can you drink wine with curry?

How to Drink Better: Some spicy dishes can even bring out new flavours in your wine

You certainly can. Many people think Indian food and wine don’t go well together and order a lager or lassi instead. In fact, the two can go perfectly together, as Irish Times readers discovered at a recent Food & Drink Club dinner in Ruchii in Blackrock. There we tried a range of red and white wines with various Indian dishes. Most worked really well together.

Some spicy dishes even brought out new flavours, improving the wine.

Here’s how to match wines with your next Indian meal.

Really hot curries will kill the flavour in all wine, as well as any other drink, but a little heat is not a problem.


As with all food, try to match full-bodied foods with similar wines, and lighter dishes with lighter wines.

Creamy rich dishes such as Chicken Tikka go better with textured wines such as Viognier, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. I find South African Chenin Blanc is great with Cape Malay curry. Fresh aromatic wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño will go better with lighter spicy, herby dishes. But the best two white wines to try with your curry are off-dry Riesling and Pinot Gris. Both seem to go with a wide variety of vegetarian, fish and chicken recipes.

If you prefer red wines, by all means try them with richer red meat dishes, including Rogan Josh and lamb curries. But try to avoid very tannic wines or big, alcoholic monsters. Rioja Crianza, New World Pinot Noir, or a fruity Merlot or Shiraz all work very well.