Wine is that pleasant accompaniment to a meal, which enhances the flavours and palate with an aroma and a taste that makes one pleased with one’s choices. However, what many will agree with is, that what is challenging when it comes to wine is how the beverage works in a variety of ways to the enhance food flavour. Invariably, a person’s individual taste preference plays a significant role over what is assumed or the preferred choice.

When it comes to Asian cuisine, some of my fellow dinner companions tend to select a wine that neutralises the spice of Kung Pao Chicken, while others have chosen a wine that accentuates its intense heat! Based on tips by our famous sommeliers at ITC Hotels, as well as my own observations, my opinion is that it is best to pair wine based on the flavours predominant in the dishes being served; ideally, focus the most intensely flavoured dish.

It is popular opinion to go with whites for seafood, especially steamed Cantonese dishes. For the sweet and sour offerings, a fruity rosé is a go-to and for dishes served with black bean sauce or barbeque offerings, a rich velvety red.

You’ll find that most Chinese prefer red wine paired with their cuisine. It isn’t very surprising, considering the colour red is associated with good luck and is marks celebrations. Moreover, red wine has a positive association with health, which increases its status and prestige. Interestingly, an expression of presumed superiority, a Bordeaux would have pride of place instead of a Riesling, irrespective of the dish!

At ITC Hotels, we’re seeking to bring forth your inner (hidden) connoisseur. Over two days this month, indulge in an Asian-style wine extravaganza at Sheraton New Delhi. On February 18, we bring you a five-course wine-paired dinner with wines from around the world as you savour the finest recipes of Pan Asian. The following week on February 25, there’s a Wine Social where you can partake of fine wine, and share great conversations and exquisite hors d"oeuvres, surrounded by live music. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!