Wine and Indonesian food: which wine pairs best with Rijsttafel?
I posted this last year after trying Rijsttafel - the Indonesian speciality that’s widely available in Amsterdam. Translated literally as ‘rice table’, it’s an elaborate array of curries, salads and pickles which present a tough challenge for any wine.
The one we had was at Blauw, a restaurant strongly recommended by foodie colleagues and in the immensely useful Where Chefs Eat and couldn’t have been a better introduction to the genre.
The curries are hot but also sweet which tends to strip the flavour out of drier wines including the Gruner Veltliner we ordered, a normal go-to with south-east Asian food, although it matched a couple of lighter introductory dishes. Several also had a rich peanut sauce. The wines I thought would make the best pairings for Rijsttafel itself were off-dry whites though I came up with a couple of other options you might enjoy:
Actually we tried a sip of this and it did work
Gewurztraminer - it wouldn’t match all the dishes but would be a good all-rounder
Off-dry Pinot Gris from Alsace or New Zealand
Barossa semillon would work well with the peanut sauces
Torrontes (a suggestion from Blauw’s own list)
Off-dry Clare or Eden Valley riesling like this Grosset riesling which was my match of the week a while back with a Chinese New Year feast
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a dash of tropical fruit
Off-dry strong rosé such as those you get from Portugal and South America
Chilled New Zealand Pinot Noir - the favourite of the chef Agus Hermawan. Or Chilean Pinot Noir, for that matter. You need a touch of sweetness.
Ripe but not over-alcoholic Shiraz and similar GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre) blends
If you found this post helpful and would like to support the website which is free to use please subscribe to my crowdfunder newsletter Eat This Drink That at fionabeckett.substack.com