If you spend several weeks or months at a time in France or Italy, there are foods you start to miss, no matter how delicious those countries’ cuisines can be. For me, this is the huge variety of spicy dishes available in the U.S. There are pockets of hot cooking throughout France and Italy, but, with a few exceptions, you have to try harder to find them. Pairing French and Italian wines with spicy fare, then, is slightly trickier than “Drink this wine with that French cheese or this Italian pasta.” Whereas we can say that Muscadet and oysters or Cahors and Cassoulet are reliable pairings because the locals have been consuming them together for decades, if not centuries...we can’t do quite the same for curries, tacos, or tagines.
As a staff, though, we have experimented extensively with our wines and the vast array of spicy foods on offer in the U.S., and have put together a list of wines that go especially well with them. These are wines that are either low in alcohol, low in tannins, or have a little residual sugar, qualities that best complement the heat on your plate or in your bowl. Picking up burritos for dinner after a long day? Pop open a Riesling or chilled, juicy Beaujolais. Making Gan Guo at home or getting it delivered? Try a Gewurztraminer or Pinot Gris from Alsace. How about the Chana Masala I'm craving as I write this? Bandol rosé, demi-sec Chenin Blanc, or a wine with some effervescence provide very happy pairings.
As tried-and-true as those classic regional pairings are, we can be grateful to French and Italian wines for traveling beyond their home-turf cuisines, too. The selections below might not put out the fire in your mouth, but they will make the flames even more pleasurable.
Whatever your grilling setup, there’s bound to be something in this collection of wines for you. There are sparklers, whites, and rosés if grilled seafood or veggies are on the menu. Lighter reds from Beaujolais or Chinon are great with burgers and dogs. If steaks, chops, or something you hauled out of the backcountry are what’s for dinner, hearty reds from Fitou or Piedmont will serve you well.
Here at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant we don’t believe in selling anything mediocre, and we would certainly not put our name on a wine we didn’t believe in. So our values are just that, wines that are full of value and quality.
There are hundreds of wines in our portfolio, but not nearly enough space in our monthly newsletters to feature them all. Here you’ll find recent arrivals and new additions to our site, from half-bottles to Jeroboams, across France and Italy.
Hot in your area? Pick up in our shop or we’ll hold your wine until it’s a good time to ship.
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