Chicken curry can be somewhat tricky to pair with wine, particularly when the sheer variety of chicken curry recipes in the world is taken into consideration. From mild to fiery hot, Southern Indian to Thai to English, the number of variations is almost endless. That said, there are a few suggestions for pairing wines with chicken curries based on the ingredients in the curry and the geographic region from which the curry hails.
Pair Reisling with spicy curries that contain coconut milk. A Reisling can stand up to the aggressive spicy nature of the curry because of its acidity, but isn’t so sweet that it will compound the sweetness of the coconut milk. In general, acidic white wines are good choices for spicy dishes.
Avoid wines that contain high levels of tannins, such as robust reds, or wines that have been aged in oak barrels, like many Chardonnays. These flavors can hit a discordant note with spicy curries.
Drink sparkling wines like champagne or prosecco when enjoying a chicken curry that contains a lot of butter or heavy cream. These wines can cut through the richness of the dairy fats in the curry sauce and help to cleanse the palate after the meal.
Read the labels of bottles and look for tasting notes that compare the flavor of the wine to tropical fruits and ingredients like lemongrass, pineapple or similar foods. These will pair well with curries, as they too originate in tropical or sub-tropical climates.
References and ResourcesNatalie MacLean: A Delicate Balance
The Spice Depot: Thai Cuisine: Food, Spices, and Wine
Chez Pim: Pairing Wine with Thai Food