Complementing rosé

Complementing rosé

With the incredible array of flavors found in Indian cuisine, finding a wine to enjoy with dinner may seem daunting. Rosé wines make for delightfully versatile pairings. Thanks to the diversity of styles ranging from bone dry to sweet, you can easily find a great tasting rosé that will carry you through a meal. In the mood to sip pink? We’ve rounded up some easy, delicious South Asian appetizers to tuck into while sipping on a glass of rosé.

Papdi Chaat

This delicious and wildly popular street food is found across north India. It’s packed with flavor – a little sweet, a little sour, with plenty of spice, which gives you plenty to consider when choosing a wine. A dry but fruit-forward rosé from Cotes de Provence will do the trick here, complementing rather than competing with the dish. It’ll refresh your palate and that touch of fruit will take some of the bite out of the spice.

Check out this recipe: Papdi Chaat

Shami Kebab

Lamb’s smokey gamy flavor combined with warm spices like chili, ginger, cardamom, and garam masala requires a bolder wine. With lamb, virtually nothing beats a rosé from Rioja (look for versions based on Tempranillo), but a pink wine based on Cabernet Sauvignon will also be a winner. These richer rosés can hold up to the vivid flavors in this dish, providing both delicious fruit and the structure to stand up to the lamb. For those who prefer beef to lamb, these wines work just as well.

Try this recipe: Shami Kebab

Paneer Tikka

Paneer offers an ideal canvas for both the spices featured in the dish and the wonderful charred flavor that comes from the grill. The combination of the yogurt marinade and the paneer itself offers a touch of creaminess which makes a gorgeous combination when paired with a high acid wine. Reach for a Sangiovese rosé. With its high acidity, a sip of Sangiovese rosé will cleanse your palate while also complementing the herbs in your paneer tikka.

We love this Paneer Tikka.

Rosé with samosa. Pic courtesy Jason Solanki

Samosa/Shingara

Let the filling be your guide when choosing a wine to drink with samosas. Vegetable samosas pair brilliantly with a sparkling Gamay. The bubbles in the wine are a perfect foil for the crispy pastry. For meat samosas, you’ll want something with a little more grip. Opt for a Syrah/Shiraz rosé here. Just remember, if your samosas veer towards the spicy end of the spectrum, watch out for the alcohol level in your wine: high alcohol enhances spice.

Ready to cook? We love this vegetable samosa recipe or you can try a meat version.

Pakora

No matter what the star ingredient of your pakora is, sparkling rosé is the way to go. Fish, chicken, or vegetable, a bright and bubbly sparkling rosé. Stash your champagne for another occasion and seek out bubblies like Cava. If you like your pakora with a generous dose of spice, a sparkling rosé with a touch of residual sugar will do nicely. Look for examples from Italy’s Veneto region.

There are so many versions of pakora. If you’re entertaining a group, try a mix of vegetablechicken, or fish for a party platter everyone will relish.

Vada Pav

These deep-fried snacks are excellent if you’re looking for a vegetarian option to serve up as an appetizer. Vada pav is crunchy, spicy, and that tangy sweetness from the chutneys is mouthwatering. Think bold and fruity here. A Spanish Grenache rosado or Malbec rosé should be on your radar when serving up vada pav.

Try this vada pav recipe.

There is an endless list of other South Asian appetizers that’ll make fantastic pairings with rosés. Experiment to find which combinations best please your palate. It is a great excuse to cook up a storm and sip some delectable new wines!