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Indian Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb Rogan Josh

Indian Lamb Rogan Josh is a curry dish of the Kashmiri Cuisine.

Rogan means "clarified butter" or "red", while josh means "hot" or "stew".

Pairing Suggestions

If Mild:

Dry Riesling (Germany)
Sparkling Rosé (World)

If Spicy:

Riesling Spätlese (Germany)
Pinot Gris (France)
Gewürztraminer (France)

Red Wines:

Merlot (World)
Right Bank (France)
Châteauneuf-du-Pape (France)
Sparkling Syrah (World)
Garnacha (Spain)
Pinot Noir(USA)
Cabernet Franc (France)


Thick, aromatic and spicy red sauce, meets tender lamb stew: the perfect match is a medium-bodied Merlot.

Why? Merlot is fruity and not too tannic, acidic, bodied or alcoholic. Perfectly balanced for our curry lamb stew.

Merlot has a touch of sweetness that comes from fruit ripeness and can be served slightly chilled 14-15°C (57-59°F).

Many of the wines we recommend can be served cool, to contrast the heat of the stew.

The contact with oak barrels releases into the wine an aroma-compound called "eugenol" found also in Indian Curries spices such clove, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.

An oaked wine will create a "complementary" match.

About Indian Lamb Rogan Josh

The name Rogan Josh is Persian but the dish is Kashmiri and influenced by different civilizations (Moghuls).

Traditionally made with red meat such lamb, mutton or goat, the recipe and techniques vary, influenced by ethnicity.

Basic Interactions

Sauce is the key. Forget red wine with red meat. Sauce and seasoning decide!

Want to cool down? A chilled aromatic white such Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Gruner Veltliner or Torrontes reduce heat.

Want to feel the heat? Go for oaky white such a New World Chardonnay or a spicy red such GSM, Shiraz, Valpolicella, Mencia.

Acidity makes your mouth water. This helps against the heat.

Sugar coats your mouth. It is a barrier to defend your taste buds, protecting them.

Alcohol sets your mouth on fire. It intensifies the heat perception especially of ginger, turmeric and red chilli.

Tannins clash with spices. They enhance the perception of bitterness and heat.

General Rules for Indian Food + Wine

Avoid very dry wines.

Sweetness calms the heat, while tannins amplify it.

Rule of thumb: the spicier the dish, the sweeter the wine.

Avoid harsh, bitter tannins and go for smooth, velvety and ripe ones.

Match the strenght! Don't choose a light wine to match your Vindaloo, it will disappear!

Fruity, aromatic wines love spices. The fruitier the better.

Forget those big Napa Cabs with Indian Food!

Don’t bite into that green cardamom or clove while sipping your wine.

Rosé wines are often a winner. Especially if they are sparkling.

Curry loves Wine

If the dish is very creamy, go for a creamy (malolactic) Chardonnay.

If the dish is spicy, go for something off-dry: Riesling Spätlese, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer.

If you go for red, go for something fruity: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Garnacha, GSM blends, Valpolicella.

In the mood for a bold red? Look for mature, round tannins: Syrah.

Indian Sauces

3 colors sauces:

Green Sauce: Herbal
Sparkling Wines, Sauvignon Blanc
Red Sauce: Acidic
Sparkling Rosé, GSM Blends, Gamay
Red Creamy Sauce: Buttery Tomato
Full Body Rosé, Lambrusco, Syrah

Go Local

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Travel and Taste
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Variety is the Spice of Life

Food and Wine Pairing

Food and wine pairing is highly dependent on both the taste components in the food and the taste components in the wine.

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