Indian

Jukes Wine And Food Curry

My Indian food and wine-matching expertise is finely tuned, even though I say it myself. It is nothing short of a fully-fledged passion, as I designed and wrote the wine list for a group of top London Indian restaurants for over a decade. It was clear to me that unoaked or mildly oaked whites were to be the driving force in my selection. Smooth, juicy rosés were also essential, as were overtly fruit-driven reds, avoiding any that were noticeably tannic. Italy, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand claimed the lion’s share of these wine lists. There were a few wines from other countries but virtually no classics like red Bordeaux, Burgundy or Rhône. Shock horror! This just proves that, depending on the style of cuisine, a wine list can be balanced, eclectic and hopefully thoroughly exciting, without relying on France. The grape varieties or styles of wine that go particularly well with Indian food are whites – Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco, Vinho Verde, Fiano, Torrontés, Riesling, Viognier, Verdelho, light Gewürztraminers and Albariño; reds – Valpolicella, Beaujolais (Gamay), Grenache (and Spanish Garnacha), Negroamaro, Pinot Noir, Nero d’Avola, Zinfandel, Barbera, Lagrein and Merlot. Other styles that work well include rich rosé, Prosecco, Asti (with puddings), rosé Champagne, Aussie sparklers and good-quality ruby port.