As our society becomes increasingly diverse, we see a rise in restaurants specialising in various cuisines. Pairing wines with familiar dishes can be challenging enough, let alone with more exclusive or unique occasion meals. Selecting the right wine can transform the entire experience. While there is no hard and fast rule for pairing wine with a particular dish, some wines are a better match than others. To help you select successfully, we've compiled a list of ideal wines to complement your meal.
* Thai: The combination of aromatic and spicy flavours works well with a crisp, dry white wine like Gewurztraminer or zesty wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, unwooded Chardonnay, or a robust red like Shiraz with beef dishes.
* Chinese: Seasonings like ginger, garlic, soy, and oyster sauce, along with a mix of sweet and sour flavours, pair nicely with spicy and fruity wines like Alsace or a low-tannin red wine like Grenache for Duck dishes.
* Japanese: Bitter and vinegar ingredients are typical, so acidic wines should be avoided in favour of dry, fruity whites or sparkling wines. Heavier dishes like tempura require fuller, fruity wines like red Chinon, white Sancerre, Brut Champagne, or manzanilla sherry.
* Indian: Curry, coconut, cumin, and creamy or milk-based sauces are typical ingredients which pair well with low-tannin, fruity wines with very little oak, such as Merlot or Shiraz.
* Middle Eastern: Common ingredients like figs, raisins, nuts, and turmeric pair well with soft, fruity reds like Fleurie, a New World Pinot Noir, or whites like Australian Semillon Chardonnay or Chilean Sauvignon Semillon.
* Mexican: With chilli-dominated cuisine that can affect your palate, it's best to pair it with a spicy wine with a touch of residual sugar. Chilled, fruity whites or a red Beaujolais Cru or Australian Tarrango (chilled) also work well.
* Pacific Rim & Fusion: These bold dishes require a confident, forward wine like New World Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc.