Wine Pairing Advice for Spicy Foods

Posted · Add Comment
wine pairing, spicy food

Oooooo, we love spicy foods! Pass the hot sauce, please. That pain is so sweet. Chicken curry, blackened beef, volcano shrimp…you know the kinds of dishes we mean. Your mouth heats up, your head begins to sweat.

What about wine pairing for us oenophiles?  People are often confused about what to drink with spicy foods. The wine we want is something to counteract the burning sensation that’s going on. Let’s not add fuel to the fire – which is what you’d be doing if you were to choose a high octane wine. (And by that we mean, of course, high alcohol.)

Hot ‘n Sweet Are the Wine Pairing Watchwords

Something a little sweet and lower alcohol is in order when the food is spicy. As a general rule of thumb, the sweeter the wine, the lower the alcohol level. Our favorite accompaniment to spicy food is an off-dry Gewürztraminer.

Gewürztraminer is a native grape of Germany and is grown around the world in cool climates, like Washington State and New York State. The grape variety is made into wines that range from dry to very sweet.

Another good option would be a Riesling. And if you’re a White Zinfandel girl, this is your opportunity to drink it without shame! Go for it.   If you’re not normally attracted to sweet wines, give this pairing a try anyway because – take our word for it, it won’t taste sweet with spicy dishes. And it’ll act like the perfect fire extinguisher.


Barbara and Beverly