Ever since I read this interview with Hong-Kong-based sommelier Jeannie Cho Lee, I’ve been intrigued by the sensory idea of red wine with spicy Asian food.
She says that Chinese people love to have their spicy food with a tannic red wine, because the tannins enhance the fiery sensation. Whereas the European and American way is to have it with Riesling, because it is sweet and cooling.
Last night, I realized I had the perfect opportunity–Thai tofu green curry for dinner, and I had just opened a bottle of South African Shiraz.
The wine, 2014 Arabella from the Western Cape, had light tannins up front, which did give me the fun sensation of an after-burn with my food. Additionally, it had a good amount of barrel spice, which matched the curry spices; and that reliable New World off-dry quality, which matched the sugar in the sauce.
I felt it, but next time I’m going to try it with the most austere Bordeaux, or savory Chianti. I need more tannin for the dramatic effect.