by Sanjana Chowhan (@Sanjanachowhan), Student at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism
Traditional Indian food never warranted a drink with it.
Who would imagine pairing anything other than chai with a samosa? But as Indian chefs all over the world are stripping the stereotypical 'hot and spicy' notion of the country's cuisine, diners' palates have also evolved. A February blog post in the New York Times' 'India Ink' section reveals that Indian restaurants from Vancouver to New York are investing in wine pairings.
"Fruit-forward and slightly sweet picks, as well as moderately acidic grapes like the white chenin blanc from France, are also good matches. And since Indian cuisine is an amalgamation of different spices, a wine with a blend of grapes can stand up to the myriad of flavors in the dishes..." according to the blog post.
"Wine and Indian food aren’t a natural fit, because wine drinking has historically never been a part of Indian culture, said Vikram Vij, who owns Indian restaurants in Seattle and Vancouver, including Vij’s. 'If you look at countries like Italy and France, the practice of enjoying food and wine together has existed for centuries, which is not the case with India,' he said. 'The drink of choice with the meal was always and continues to be water because it’s the most neutralizing, or beer.'"