Aloo gobi is a dish that originates in northern India but is now found in all parts of the world. It is a humble dish of spicy curried cauliflower, but is enhanced with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, onion, and spices. Served as a side dish or a main course, it is gaining popularity among vegetarians and vegans, and thus it is fitting to be served with suitable wines that would enhance our dining experience with it.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Aloo Gobi
|Tannins||Low to Medium|
|Notes||Red and Black Berries, Citrus, Orchard Fruits, Tropical Fruits, Herbs, Spices|
Best Red Wine to Pair with Aloo Gobi
Since this is typically a spicy dish, it is best to pair Aloo Gobi with a red wine that is lower in alcohol and tannin to create a harmonious balance with the bold flavors of the spices, herbs, and ginger. Additionally, with some delicate flavors of the main ingredient – cauliflower – it is important to select a lighter bodied wine as to not overpower it. Here are some suitable options!.
This northern Burgundian cool climate wine is structured and due to the cool climate has lower alcohol that will not amplify the spiciness of the dish, and the fruit-forward nature of the Pinot Noir and optional César grape will enhance the delicate vegetal notes and the brightness of the coriander and grounded notes of the cumin. Additionally, the spices in the gently oaked versions will mirror the spicy notes in the food. The low tannin content of this wine benefits the pairing as it will not overpower the dish.
This is a very popular choice when it comes to spicy food as it is known for its low tannin, highly fruit forward, almost confected cherry-like nature. Although this wine is dry, the intense ripeness of the red fruits will complement the spice notes in the aloo gobi dish harmoniously, and the flavor elements in both the dish and the wine will amplify the best parts of it. Like mentioned above, the low tannin in this wine will provide balance with the dish. These wines are always released the third Thursday of November each year and sell out quickly, so definitely keep a look-out for these gems.
Burgundian Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is grown all over the world, clinging to the cooler parts in the new world and to the warmest parts of the old world. However, it is lower alcohol and lower tannin wines that we are after when pairing with aloo gobi, and Burgundy is the right place to find it. You need not go as high as Premier or Grand Cru, but here the best choice is the regional level Bourgogne/Burgundy AOC. These wines, like above, have lower tannin which will not compete with the delicate nuances of the dish and will not amplify certain bolder aspects as well. Additionally, wines that are approximately 5 years in age will show earthy notes that will highlight the spice notes, creating a great friendship with the dish.
This northern Italian red is prized for its refreshingly high acidity that pairs beautifully with this delicious main dish. The high acidity acts as a palate cleanser and highlights the savory elements of the food. This wine is also loved for its savory bay-leaf, rosemary and sage, which is often the case with Italian reds. These notes complement the herb and spice elements of the main course, making it a perfect pairing!
This bright and fruit Austrian red has a lower tannin content and lighter body that pairs well with aloo gobi as the strengths of both of the dish and the wine stand up to each other equally. Its cherry and raspberry aromas will highlight the bright ginger and coriander elements in the aloo gobi dish, and its lighter tannin structure will be sure to not overpower it. These wines are often overlooked and typically are of high quality, so they are worth considering.
Best White Wines to Pair with Aloo Gobi
Just like red wines, lighter bodied whites with lower alcohol content that are fresh, and fruit forward are the ones to look for! Select ones that are not are not heavily oaked, but ones that are either not oaked at all or lightly oaked with light to medium body. Great choices would also include rosé wines with aloo gobi.
Off Dry or Sweet Rieslings
The Mosel Valley is known for their dry and off dry Rieslings. Look for the words “feinherb” or “halbtrocken”, “lieblich” or “suss” on the label. These wines are bursting with fresh apple, citrus, peach, and often tropical notes with sweetness levels that will help to temper the spicy notes of the main course. These delicious food friendly wines are also very high in acidity, which refreshes the palate bite after bite!
These underrated wines are one of the highest quality sparkling wines that exist, with more stringent aging regulations than Champagne! These frothy whites will lighten the sensation of the dish, much the same way that acid does in still wines. Additionally, they are high acid wines, so its one-two punch works as a palate cleanser in between bites. Due to the lees aging requirements on these wines, you will find a delicious complexity of citrus, apple, pear and brioche notes that will harmonize with the delicate cauliflower flavors of the dish. The complexities of both wine and food square off with each other for balance.
Vinho Verde DOP
These white wines from coastal Portugal are bursting with lemon and lime zest, grapefruit juice, and perfumed florals. Despite being a light bodied white wine, these wines are pronounced in flavor intensity that will not cower with the spices of aloo gobi. Being a coastal region, you may pick up on some saline notes, which will complement similar notes in the main course. The high zesty acidity is a perfect match to any savory side dish.
Demi Sec Vouvray AOC
This high acid wine is highly popular, and for good reason. Vouvray is one of the most well known regions in the Loire Valley in France, and can be both sparkling and still. Made from Chenin Blanc, it has notes of orchard fruit, quince, white blossom and sometimes beeswax. Demi Sec Vouvray AOC wines, although being off dry, are prized for their high acidity much like the other above recommendations, therefore works very well to pair with food. Some Vouvray wines are dry, therefore look for the Demi-Sec on the label.
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
These wines are also from the Loire Valley, and are of the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety. It is loved for its racy acidity, mineral wet-stone like notes and neutral citrus flavors. These wines are aged on its lees, which give it toast and bread-like aromas that make them very food friendly. This is because it gives it a complexity necessary for a dish like aloo gobi, which is complex itself with its layered herb and spice components. Lees aging also retains the freshness of the wine, which makes it a great pairing with this dish as it is loaded with fresh flavors as well.
Best Wine to Pair with Aloo Gobi
There are key structural components that will make wine pair harmoniously with this main course. Due to aloo gobi’s spicy nature, look for a wine that is not high in alcohol (under 12% if possible), low tannin if it is red to not overpower the delicacies of the dish, and loads of fresh fruit flavors to make the savory nature of this delicious main course stand out! Any of the above choices would do very well and impress your guests! Enjoy!