Wine Information & Reviews | Vino Critic

Finding the best wine for spicy food may seem like a daunting task, but it is much more straightforward than you might think. You will want a wine that is going to cool the mouth and refresh the palate between bites. Wines that are light in the body with high acidity are always great choices. A hint of sweetness can also make for a great pairing with spicy food as the sweetness offers a nice balance to the heat. We recommend staying away from wines that have high alcohol and high tannins as both of these elements will exacerbate the heat.

Wine Characteristics To Pair with Spicy Food

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Medium – High
Acidity Medium – High
Tannins Low
Body Light – Medium
Tasting Notes Ripe fruit, dairy, floral notes, oak, vanilla, bubbly wines.

Best White Wine to Pair with Spicy Food

Generally speaking, most white wines will complement a spicy dish, but we have some top recommendations sure to complement a zesty meal. Sauvignon Blanc The acidity, the light body, the lush fruit flavour, and rich aromatics, all make Sauvignon Blanc a perfect accompaniment to dishes with some heat. Its herbaceous qualities make for a great pairing with Mexican and Vietnamese cuisine. Rosé Rosé has all the acidity and fruit-forward qualities that you want in a wine pairing with spicy food. The bubbles in a sparkling Rosé kick the palate cleansing up another notch. Try it with cajun or creole dishes. Vinho Verde This white from Portugal is light and refreshing. It offers a ton of acidity and bold citrus flavour making it the perfect companion to fiery dishes. Try it with Thai cuisine or spicy seafood. Riesling Riesling is always a food-favourite but the off-dry or sweet styles are wonderful partners to a wide array of spicy foods. The wine offers enough structure and acidity to complement the heat and not be overpowered by it. Gewürztraminer Gewürztraminer is a slight departure from the other whites on this list. While it brings bold fruit and aromatics, it has less acidity, more body, and more alcohol. However, this wine has enough complexity to stand up to boldly flavoured and fiery cuisines like Indian and Sichuan without being overshadowed.

Best Red Wine To Pair With Spicy Food

White wine may be the obvious choice, but you can still enjoy a glass of red wine with spicy dishes. The key to choosing the right red wine is picking something light-bodied, low in alcohol and heavy on the fruit. Grenache This red is heavy on the red fruit flavours with just a hint of spice. It also has a good amount of acidity, making it a great red wine for spicy food. Try it with Indian or Korean cuisine. Pinot Noir Pinot Noir is a red with higher acidity and light to medium body. Serve it slightly chilled—pop it in the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving—and you will have a great pairing with spicy barbecue or zesty ragu. Beaujolais Beaujolais is a great red for heat because it is low in tannins, high in acidity, and has tart fruit flavours like cherry and cranberry. Like Pinot Noir, serving a Beaujolais slightly chilled will make it a great pairing with most spicy foods. Lambrusco This fun, fizzy red is high in acidity, rich berry flavour, and notes of licorice and orange peel. It is served chilled and complements food like Korean BBQ and spicy pasta dishes quite well.

Best Wine To Drink With Spicy Food

Ultimately, white wines will be your best bet when it comes to spicy food, but if you prefer red, you are not out of luck; just choose a red with bold fruit and medium-to-high acidity.
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Vinho Verde
  • Beaujolais
  • Grenache
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