Find three wine strategies for a saucy and sweet chicken curry recipe.
By: Scott Jones
October 22, 2012
1 of 5Photo: John Autry
The Best Wine for Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
With a spicy, early fall dish like chicken and sweet potato curry, offer these beer and wine styles.
2 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Match #1: A Soft, Aromatic, Off-Dry White
A soft white with a touch of sweetness rounds out the edges of the pungent sauce.
ZEROING IN: Easy on the alcohol and long on stone-fruit flavors, Washington state rieslings match perfectly with big, fiery foods from Southern and Southeast Asia. Although this recipe is not blazing hot, a touch of sweetness helps temper the curry and ground red pepper.
Sweet apple flavors and palate-cleansing bitterness complement the curry's assertive seasonings.
ZEROING IN: Hard cider combines low alcohol with the off-dry crispness of white wine to create an unexpected complement to Indian flavors like curry, turmeric, and ginger. A subtle sizzle of carbonation cuts through the recipe's overall richness.
A midweight red, light on tongue-gripping tannins, stands up to the recipe's spice and acidity.
ZEROING IN: Try a Chilean merlot. These easy-drinking wines are full of ripe red fruit flavors—the key to pairing reds with intensely flavored recipes. Curry often packs both acid and heat (here, from red pepper and tomatoes), delivering a knockout blow to less fruity wines with heavier oak and tannins.
Oak and tannins are the enemies of bold, spicy foods. For example, toasty, barrel-fermented chardonnay comes off as bitter, and astringent reds like cabernet sauvignon and syrah only crank up the heat.