How to pair wine with spices

How to pair wine with spices

Wine is the elixir of gods or so it is said. It may even be the fountain of youth.

Christopher Columbus equated spices with gold. He said

"But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them"

Surely if we combine two of gods greatest gifts to mankind we cant go wrong right?

We set off on a very scientific quest to discover just how well wine goes with spices!

Dear reader, for your sake many a glass of wine was consumed and many dinners were feasted upon. Through the fog of a heavy-headed morning, we know the truth. 

Dear reader, for your sake many a glass of wine was consumed and many dinners were feasted upon. Through the fog of a heavy-headed morning, we know the truth. 

Dear reader, for your sake many a glass of wine was consumed and many dinners were feasted upon. Through the fog of a heavy-headed morning, we know the truth. 

Click on the image below to see a full size version.

Spice Quarter How To Pair Wine With Spices

How to pair wine with spices

Now the reason why it is important to pair the right wine with the right dish is that wine is as complex as any food and the right pairing can enhance the flavour of both wine AND food. 

If you recall your year 6 science class you will remember that there are 4 basic tastes; bitter, sour, sweet and salty. Culinary experts have now added umami to the list. Umami is a strong, yet pleasant savoury taste. Think parmesan, marmite and wasabi.

Every glass of wine is different. Indeed, two bottles of the same vintage may have different tastes and this adds to the beauty and complexity of wine. They key to balancing spices with wine is pairing complementary and contrasting flavours. 

There are 3 key rules to follow to choose the best wine for spices

Pair flavours not ingredients

Think about the dominant flavours of the spices you are cooking with. If you are using our Nawabi Spice Blend then the dominant flavours are earthy and aromatic coming from the Cumin and Cardamom in the blend. 

A dish made with this blend, whether meat based or vegetarian, will go well with a light white wine like a riesling or a sparkling variety of white wine. Choose something with light floral notes to accentuate the flavours in this blend.

Forget the rules you know

We have all heard that red wine is for red meat and white wine is for seafood. That is not true at all. If you make a satay sauce with our Satay Spice Blend it will have sweet undertones. You can use satay with red meat, seafood or vegetables. No matter what you add the satay sauce to, balancing the sweetness is essential. In this case a lovely cabernet or a dry chardonnay will balance the spicy-sweet flavours of satay sauce.

Use your instinct

As a cook, you are the expert of your cuisine so think about the dominant flavours in your dish when choosing the right wine to pair it with. Have fun with it and don't worry too much about getting it perfect!

If the dry spice mix used is red, like our Rib Rub Spice Blend then it has large amounts of carotenoids, which are organic pigments that give some spices a natural orange or red colour.

Food made with red or orange spices and spice mixes need to be paired with a refreshing type of wine. A chilled sav blanc or a sparkling chardonnay are perfect. Think indian curries, african stews and thai sit frys.

Food made with sweeter, more aromatic spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg go well with a full bodied red wine like a shiraz or a merlot. Think apple pies and sweet puddings.

So there you have it, our top 3 ways to pair wine with spices. 

Follow these three tips and in no time you will be the expert at paring the right spices with the right wine. 

 

Did you find these tips useful? Let us know what you think in the comments.

If you haven't already, check out our monthly subscription option. For only $19.95 per month you get all our spice blends and recipes delivered straight to your door.

For any questions, comment below or contact us on info@getspicequarter.com

Here's to great cooking!

Meg

Chief Taster

Spice Quarter


1 comment

  • Alka

    This is such a useful post! Thanks Meg!

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