5 Wines to Pair with Indian Food Classics


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5 Wines to Pair with Indian Food Classics The best Indian food I ever had was when my friend Aman’s parents would visit from Ahmedabad and his mother would cook wonderful meals for us. Beautifully seasoned, all vegetarian, and all made with love in the traditional style of Gujarat. Unfortunately, I never wrote down the names of any of the dishes and have never seen anything like them on a menu since.

Indian cuisine is highly diverse as you’d expect from a nation of 1.2 billion people with a wide range of ingredients, religions, and different histories that all come together to shape the local dinner table—a table that traditionally hasn’t featured wine. 

But Indian food has found wide popularity around the world due to centuries of international trade and the South Asian diaspora. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to skip a thesis-length examination into pure, authentic Indian cuisine and instead focus on the dishes that are commonly found in small family restaurants and takeaway shops outside of the subcontinent. 

This genre has often been cited as notoriously difficult to pair with wine, but I think that stems from lack of experience as well as a fear of working without a net: no established rules like red with beef and white with fish (which I break all the time). You can have fun with all sorts of surprising combinations. You may not find these wine options at your neighborhood restaurant, but you can certainly enjoy them back home with piles of steaming basmati rice and slightly crispy naan. 

Photo credit: Amber Indian Restaurant

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