Mild Butter Chicken pairs best with rich white wines such as Chardonnay, Soave or Grenache Blanc.  If your Butter Chicken is spicy, you’ll want sweeter wines, such as an off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer.  For red wine pairings, stick to light acidic red wines with a touch of sweetness such as Zinfandel, Lambrusco, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, or Beaujolais Villages.

Curry dishes have a reputation for being difficult to match with wine. This is due to the wide variety of spices available in Butter Chicken, such as Coriander, Cumin, Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Black Pepper and Cinnamon.  Furthermore, India isn’t known for their wine.  Thus wine did not evolve with Indian Cuisine over the centuries in India as it has in Italy, France and Germany. Fortunately, Butter Chicken is one of the richer but milder Indian-influenced recipes accessible, giving us a variety of delicious options of wine to choose from.

Best Wine with Butter Chicken

White WineChardonnayButter Chicken
Sparkling WineSparkling Wine, RoséButter Chicken
White WineGrenache BlancButter Chicken
Red WineLambrusco GrasparossaButter Chicken
RoséTavelButter Chicken
RoséRoséButter Chicken
RoséChinon SaignéeButter Chicken
RoséClairet RoséButter Chicken
White WineSoave ClassicoButter Chicken
White WineChenin Blanc, Off-DryButter Chicken
Red WineBeaujolais VillagesButter Chicken
Red WineGrenache Shiraz Merlot (GSM)Butter Chicken
Red WineZinfandelButter Chicken
Red WineCabernet FrancButter Chicken
Red WineBarbera (DOC)Butter Chicken
Red WineSangioveseButter Chicken
Red WineGarnachaButter Chicken
Red WineCarignanButter Chicken
Sparkling WineSparkling WineButter Chicken
White WineRieslingButter Chicken
RoséSaignée Rosé Butter Chicken
White WineSauvignon BlancButter Chicken
White WinePinot GrisButter Chicken
White WineGewürztraminerButter Chicken
Red WinePinot NoirButter Chicken
Red WineSyrahButter Chicken

Chardonnay & Butter Chicken Pairing

An Oaked Chardonnay has a rich buttery texture that makes it wonderful with the creamy flavours of Butter Chicken. Chardonnay complements the various toasted spices used in Butter Chicken with toasty notes of vanilla, coconut, and smoke. Meanwhile, the fruity flavours of mango, peaches, pear, apple and citrus that we love in Chardonnay provides a refreshing contrast against the curry and cleanses the palate, making each bite taste electric and vibrant.

Grenache Blanc & Mild Butter Chicken

Green apple, pear, peach, and lime notes in Grenache Blanc energize the complex flavours found in butter chicken. Expect rich, juicy pear flavours on the palate, with a peppery herbal and mineral aftertaste. This is a powerful wine that can hold its own against the curry flavours of Butter Chicken.  Plus, you still have an acidic crispness which will cut through the luscious buttery and cream component of Butter Chicken. However, there is a peppery component to the finish, which allows you to taste both the wine and the butter chicken.

Do not pair Grenache Blanc with spicier versions of Butter Chicken.  This white wine has higher levels of alcohol then your typical white wine. (13%-15%). Alcohol and heat do not get along, as the warm spices of a spicy Butter Chicken will make Grenache Blanc taste like burn.  Thus, for spicy Butter Chicken, reach for off-dry white wines such as Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Gewurztraminer.

Rosé & Mild Butter Chicken

A deep-coloured Rosé is a wonderful match with mild Butter Chicken as it’s dry with plenty crisp acidity. While pink in colour, we assure you that Rosé is not sweet. While it does have notes of raspberry, blackberry and strawberry, Rosé tends to be tart, crisp and refreshing.  Because it’s dry, Rosé is not a good match for spicy Butter Chicken as it won’t turn down the heat.

To add more flair to your Butter Chicken pairing, select a dry sparkling Rosé. The wine’s bubbles help cut through the buttery sauce’s rich, creamy texture, while the fruity flavours call attention to the texture of the slow-cooked chicken.

Lambrusco & Spicy Butter Chicken Pairing

Lambrusco Grasparossa for Butter Chicken is a bolder style of Lambrusco with medium tannin and fruity flavours of blueberry, raspberries, strawberries and black currant that makes it refreshing when paired up with Butter Chicken.  However, there are several styles of Lambrusco, and you can’t go wrong with most, provided you don’t go for the old-fashioned style from the 70s that is essentially soda pop all boozed up.

Lambrusco is somewhat bubbly, with just enough carbonation to cut through the richness of the butter and cream used in Butter Chicken. Furthermore, if you like your Butter Chicken hot, Lambrusco is a low-alcohol wine that won’t burn your lips when paired with extra spicy Butter Chicken.

Zinfandel & Butter Chicken Pairing

Zinfandel is a wonderful match with Butter Chicken you’ve made at home but prepared from a pre-made sauce from a Grocery Store.  This style of Butter Chicken will appeal more towards North American tastes, and there is nothing more American than a Zinfandel from California.  Low in tannin, medium-bodied and slightly sweet from all its fruity flavours of blackberry, raspberry and plum, Zinfandel softens any powerful spices and brings the slow-cooked chicken flavours into focus.  Zinfandel also has a smoky edge to its flavour, and this goes nice with the earthy spices used in preparing Butter Chicken.

Stick to medium-range Zinfandels that are under $30.  Anything more might be high in alcohol and bold in its fruity flavour, swamping out the tender chicken flavours.