Spicy food and Italian wine
March 8, 2009
When choosing the drink to pair with a spicy dish, wine does not come top of the list even though more and more people are choosing it and amongst the different choices available, Italian wines are not amongst the firsts. As a rule of thumb, when looking for a wine to match spice food, you want low alcohol, fruity white wines to balance the dish or, if you are a fond of red, spicy red wines to complement it, some of the characteristics the wine should have are high acidity and a perceived sweetness. Definitely to avoid, are high alcoholic, tannic reds and oaky whites.
Among Italian wines, good spicy food companion are Gewürztraminer, Muller Thurgau, whites, and Lagrein , red, all from Trentino. These wines and grapes are often associated with Germany or Alsace but Italy produces some outstanding example. The main difference is in the alcohol content and the body, with the Italians being more alcoholic and more bodied. If in doubt or not too sure, the safest bet is to opt for the bubbles. Either Franciacorta or Spumante will comfortably sit next to a spicy dish due to their acidity.
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