Enjoying wine with tikka masala is a beautiful way to make your Indian food more enjoyable. Tikka Masala, along with butter chicken, is one of the most popular Indian dishes in restaurants. Here are some of the ideal wines to enjoy with this dish.
Wine With Tikka Masala: 4 Wines
In the restaurant and need a few quick wine pairing ideas? Let’s dive in with a few recommendations.
Chicken Tikka Masala and Beaujolais go together beautifully. The wine provides a pleasing contrast to the heat of the dish. Take a few sips of wine and then try another bite. Contrasting wines with spicy dishes almost always works.
Riesling is made in multiple wine styles. Ideally, ask for a semi sweet Riesling or an off-dry Riesling. The sweetness in these wines means it pairs well with Indian meat dishes. The residual sugar content in these white wines is just what you need to balance the curry powder often used in spicy food.
3 Sparkling Wines
No guide to chicken tikka masala wine pairings would be complete without including sparkling wines. A Grand Cru Champagne bottle is fantastic if you can afford one. Indian food is also fantastic, with a more affordable sparkling wine like Cremant de Bourgogne from France. For additional ideas, see this guide to champagne alternatives.
4 Chenin Blanc
Do you prefer a white wine that is a supporting player to your Indian meal? A glass of Chenin Blanc is a good choice.
What To Do When You Can’t Find The Ideal Pairings
Some Indian restaurants may not have all of those wines. Don’t worry – traditional wine pairings are not your only option. I recommend asking your server for wine recommendations. They may have a wine educator on staff who can give you additional ideas.
If they don’t have any ideas, try a traditional non-alcohol Indian beverage like a mango lassi or a delicious mango soda. You could also try alcohol-free beers, but I can’t say if they’re enjoyable.
Tikka Masala Wine Pairing Tips and Tricks
There are a few more tips from wine experts to remember when choosing a wine for this classic dish.
Tip 1 Try Different Wine Pairings Over Time
Each time you have dinner, try a different pairing. You might start with something familiar, like fruit-forward wines. Next time, add some variety to your meal by trying an Italian wine pairing. Regularly trying new wines is one of the best ways to lift your level of wine knowledge.
Tip 2 Have Serve Wines With A Longer Meal
Your favorite dishes probably pair well with different wines. One dish may pair well with a lighter-bodied wine, while your favorite European food might pair better with a Sauvignon Blanc. For a more extended meal at a restaurant, consider having different wines with different dishes.
For example, you might start with a glass of Pinot Blanc when you start your meal. Then, you might enjoy your chicken tikka masala in a different glass, like sparkling wine.
Tip 3 Take A Few Quick Notes About Your Wine
Imagine you discover an excellent pairing with chicken at your next meal. It might be a dish with garam masala or Indian veggie food. Do yourself a favor and write down a quick note. Use the notes app on your phone to write down the dish, where you ate it, and the wine.
At the very least, take a picture of the wine bottle to seek it out in the future quickly.
Wine With Tikka Masala: 8 Wine Bottles That Pair Well
The world of wine production is vast, so it is helpful to have specific suggestions to guide your selection.
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon ($43, certified organic)
This Gamay wine has received a “Top 100” recognition from Wine Spectator. The wine’s flavor profile is fruit-forward with notes of black cherry.
Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py ($52)
Also produced in Beaujolais, the Gamay wine has earned a 91 score from wine critics. In contrast to the wine above, this wine is dominated by red berry flavors.
Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg Cuvee Sainte Catherine $107, certified organic)
We start our Riesling selection with a top-notch wine from France’s Alsace region. This biodynamic wine boasts a 93 score from wine reviewers. The wine offers lemon notes and acidity.
Von Winning Ungeheuer Riesling Grosses Gewachs ($70)
This Riesling wine from Germany offers excellent value with an average score of 92 and a price under $100. The wine offers plum and peach notes and minerals. There is enough happening in this wine to keep up with the intense flavors of tikka masala.
Chenin Blanc Wines
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Sec ($48)
Vouvray wine is a French white wine made in the Loire Valley region. The producer is known for its Chenin Blanc and manual grape picking. The wine has earned a score of 94 from wine reviewers.
Stellenrust Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc ($35)
Recently, I visited South Africa wine country, so I wanted to include an example here. This Stellenbosch wine has earned an award from the Decanter World Wine Awards and other wine competitions. This buttery wine offers a rich counterpoint to the spice of chicken tikka masala.
The classic choice is a wine from the Champagne wine region (or an organic Champagne). For the sake of variety, let’s look for sparkling wine options outside France.
Bisol Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG ($48)
This Italian sparkling wine has earned high praise from wine critics. The wine has also won several awards and medals at the Global Masters, International Wine Challenge, and other venues. The wine offers green apple, peach, and pear notes.
Adriano Adami Dry Vigneto Giardino Rive di Colbertaldo ($25)
This Italian sparkling wine offers a fantastic combination of price and value. At less than $30 and a wine critic score of 90, this bottle is a great entry-level sparkling wine.
Wine With Tikka Masala Summary
The best way to pair wine with tikka masala is to start with proven options. The following wines pair well with chicken tikka masala: Beaujolais, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and sparkling wines. To learn how to make this Indian dish, see the following recipe: chicken tikka masala recipe.
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