"Having turned up with my only claim to cooking being beans on toast, I can now prepare and cook a fabulous meal!"

Harvey Lawless

Wines that go nice with spice

With our Thai and Indian cooking classes coming up, The Green Apron’s resident wine expert, Jo Page, dishes on the wines you should pair with your spicy food.

Thai cooking

Jo says: “A good rule of thumb when matching food and wine is to keep it regional, which is great when you’re eating Italian, French or Spanish food but more difficult with Asian cuisine.”

But why is that?

Although Indian wine is believed to date back to the Bronze Age and today accounts for around 24 million bottles per year, only 10 per cent of these get exported.

Thailand however is a much younger wine producing area, with the market growing over the last 30 years to produce just one million bottles per year.

By comparison, France produces 7-8 billion bottles of wine each year and exports around 40 per cent of its production.

With this in mind, getting Thai and Indian wines in your local supermarket can be a bit tricky.

Don’t worry though, there is some good news. Many wines go brilliantly with Asian food, if you know what to look for. It may even mean you try something different, too.

What to look for?

Jo says: “You’ll need a wine that has enough flavour to match your food without competing, that’s high in acidity to refresh your palette, with little or no tannins. White wines generally work better. Don’t worry, if you can’t be parted from your trusty red though, I have some suggestions for both.

“In white wines, look for something aromatic and off-dry. Think Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer from Germany, Alsace and Clare Valley in Australia. These are all wines that are made to make your mouth water and will go with most Asian food.

“In reds, the trick is to choose something lighter with soft tannins and little oak, as it’s the tannin in red wine that clashes with spice. New World Pinot Noir from New Zealand or Chile are ideal.”

Jo’s recommendations for wines to pair with spicy food:

Jim Barry’s The Lodge Hill Riesling (£9.99, Majestic or £11, Co-op), from Clare Valley in Australia

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Gewürztraminer (£9, Sainsbury’s), from Alsace in France

Tesco Finest Central Otago Pinot Noir (£13, Tesco), from New Zealand

Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Noir 2018 Valle de Aconcagua (£9.99, Majestic), from Chile

About The Green Apron

You’ll find The Green Apron cooking school in Coggeshall, Essex. We’re focused on creating simple and seasonal dishes that are as natural as they are delicious, so our cooking classes are fun and hands-on and feature no hard-to-get ingredients or complicated equipment. If you’re interested in Asian cuisine, our Thai, Indian and new-for-2020 Vegetarian Indian cooking courses have all the inspiration you need.