Tips for Pairing Wine With Middle Eastern Food

The flavors of Middle Eastern food may appear exotic to some people. This cuisine is full of vibrant flavors, spices, and layers of spiciness. You may be wondering how to pair wine with this style of cuisine—here are a few tips for pairing wine with Middle Eastern Food.  

Provide Balance

Middle Eastern cuisine has a wide variety of dishes, from grilled lamb kebabs to fresh chopped salads. You don’t want the wine to overpower the delicious, flavorful food, so match heavier, richer foods with fuller-bodied wines and lighter foods with lighter-bodied wines.

For Savory Dishes

Pair a salty, fatty dish with a crisp, acidic wine to cleanse your palate. Sauvignon Blanc is a fantastic crisp white wine to enjoy with a salty dish. A young Reisling is another excellent option, or perhaps you’ll pick a Pinot Grigio. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s fresh and acidic.

For Spicy Dishes

The Middle East is known for its bold spices and delectable spicy food. These spices range from cumin, cinnamon, allspice, za’atar, and sumac to spicy chili and harissa. Fruit-forward, lower-tannin wines will pair well with spice-forward and spicy foods.

For Bitter Foods

There are also some bitter foods in Middle Eastern cuisine, such as eggplant, walnuts, and grilled lamb. Couple these foods with wine that has higher tannins to balance the bitterness.

Match Characteristics

Middle Eastern cuisines use a lot of fresh herbs, yogurt, tomatoes, and lemons. Match these dishes with higher-acidity wines with green apple notes. These drier wines tend to come from cooler climates; a Riesling from Germany or Austria is the perfect option.

A Few Pairings To Enjoy

Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, mint, lemon juice, parsley, and olive oil. An acidic Sauvignon Blanc will match the acidity of this dish. 

Chicken musakhan is a well-liked national dish of Palestine. Chicken dressed in tons of spices gets roasted to perfection. Serve it with naan bread and top the chicken with pine nuts, yogurt, parsley, and fresh lemon juice. A sparkling Rosé would match the acidity level of this dish. 

Whether you’re planning on having a dinner party featuring Middle Eastern dishes or simply looking to broaden your horizons, you have various wines to choose from. Refer back to these tips for pairing wine with Middle Eastern food when you’re stuck. And for your wine pairings, look no further than Wines ’Til Sold Out. We have special wine offers available with a wide variety of wines to choose from.

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