Pairing Wine and Spicy Food for Beginners

A culinary pairing that is often misunderstood is spicy food and wine. The combination of the two can be extremely pleasing to the palate or it can muddle your taste buds with a mix of flavors. But, how do you know when you should match your spicy dish with red wine or white wine? What type of dish goes best with what type of wine? These are just a few common questions that most people have when it comes to wine and spicy food. Lucky for you, this article explains which spicy dishes are good for each wine type.

Pairing wine with spicy foods is not a difficult task, but it does take some practice. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you make the perfect match.

Best Spicy Food Wine Tips and Guidelines

1. Make sure to choose a wine that will stand up to the spiciness of the food. You do not want it to be overpowered by the spicy dish. So, when choosing your wine be sure to consider whether or not it is a light, medium, or full-bodied red wine.

2. The second rule for pairing wine and spicy food is always to match the intensity of your dish with an equal level of wine intensity. This means that if you are serving a spicy dish full of cayenne pepper and hot sauce, you need to choose a wine with the same amount of zing to it. If you choose a wine that works well with a medium or mild spicy dish, then your food will lose some of its flavors.

3. Wine should be more acidic than the food it is paired with. This will balance the meal, and bring out the natural flavors of the wine and food. If you choose a wine with a high level of sugar then it may mute the flavors in your dish or overpower it together.

4. Make sure that the wine is sweeter than the dish. If you choose a wine that is spicier than the food, then it will be difficult to enjoy the meal.

5. Make sure to try different types of wine with your spicy food before deciding on which one you like best. You may surprise yourself by actually enjoying red or white wine with your meal more than the other. You may have never thought that you would like this pairing, but it could become your new favorite combination!

Best Wine and Spicy Pairings

Here are some examples of perfect wine and spicy food pairings:

Côtes du Rhônes can be paired with spicy Mexican dishes or Indian food.

The Syrah grape is the main ingredient in this wine and it has bold raspberry and black currant flavors with a peppery aftertaste. These spicy foods need a wine that will not be overwhelmed by their taste, but one that can stand up to their boldness.

Pair Wine With the Sauce, Not the Meat.

Although the Spicy Thai red chili sauce will pair well with the wine, it is not ideal to pair the wine with your meat. For example, white wine such as Pinot Grigio goes well with this dish because it is less sharp than most red wines.

Pinot Noir and Earthy Flavors go great together.

There is nothing better than red wine with the right amount of earthiness. Pair the Pinot Noir grape with a dish that has grassy or mushroom flavors.

Sparkling and Salty Flavors.

Pair sparkling wine with food that has salty or spicy flavors. The bubbles bring out the crispiness of the wine and help to refresh your taste buds. The food in this case acts as a complementing ingredient to the wine.

Pair Rosè with Mexican Cuisine.

When preparing Mexican dishes be sure to serve them with a Rosè. This is one of the best food and wine pairings because Rosè wines are so full of flavor and excitement. The citrusy notes in these wines will compliment the spicy peppers in Mexican food perfectly. Be sure to choose a rosé that has some acidity to it, and make sure that the wine is sweeter than your dish.

Pairing wine and spicy food are fun. Each time you try a new combination of wine and food, you will learn something new about the style of each beverage. Pairing these beverages is different than pairing wine with seafood or white meats. Choose wines that have bold flavors and are full-bodied for them to stand up to the spiciness of your dish.  By following the above tips and guidelines, you will be able to find the perfect pairing for your next spicy meal.

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