A single glass of wine is typically priced at the wholesale cost of the entire bottle.

That means that a bottle that costs $10 wholesale equates to a $10 glass of wine at your bar or restaurant. Your markup depends on how many glasses you pour from the bottle. Our job at Chilled is to suggest wines for your wine-by-the-glass bar program. Each online issue will highlight a handful of wines that meet our criteria of quality and affordability. The wines chosen will please the palate on their own or when served with food. This week, we’re discussing the best wines by the glass to offer at an Indian restaurant.

Few cuisines pair with wine as well as Indian food. Known for its spices and rich flavors, Indian cuisine attracts many styles of wine because they bring a balance and vigor to the dishes. From tandoori chicken to fiery vindaloo, fresh, crisp, younger wines with lots of acidity will pair well with Indian cuisine. The restaurant’s goal should be to find wines that are a bit lighter with low alcohol, have a drop of sweetness, and lack tannins. We love Pinot Gris with spiced lamb dishes, and spicy seafood preparations love Riesling. Game dishes, including duck, scream for Gewürztraminer. Vindaloo and masalas pair well with the Gamay varietal. Lambrusco and sparkling rosé balance the flavors of butter chicken and korma, which employ the use of heavy cream in their luscious sauces.

To summarize, lighter dishes should be paired with crisp and dry wines. Conversely, the spicier the dish, the more intense the wine should be. White wine, with a tinge of residual sugar, stands up to the heat. Avoid tannins and oak when searching for a wine to pair with spicy food. Simple wines work best because they complement the flavors, but still let the Indian spices shine. While we invite you to experiment with what may work best at your establishment, here are six of our favorite wines by the glass to pair with Indian food.

François Schmitt Bollenberg Gewurztraminer 2016

Established in 1697, the Schmitt family have been active wine growers through numerous generations. Just the right amount of sweetness and crispness makes this Gewürztraminer a perfect match for those fiery, meaty dishes on the menu.

Suggested glass price: $12

François Schmitt Bollenberg Gewurztraminer 2016, bottle on white

François Schmitt Bollenberg Gewurztraminer 2016


Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer 2017

Dr. Konstantin Frank, located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, is the premier Gewürztraminer producer in America. Aromatic, delicate, and full of fruit, this mineral-driven Gewürztraminer has a soft spot for sweetness, which enhances Indian food. Dr. Frank’s wine is a natural match for duck, game, and dishes of all heat levels.

Suggested glass price: $11

Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer 2017, bottle on white

Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewürztraminer 2017


Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling 2017

This is a perfect Semi-Dry Riesling for dishes with curry powder because it’s acidic, tropical, and sweet all at the same time. The acidity balances the residual sugar, creating a well-balanced wine that screams for spicy seafood and fiery sauces.

Suggested glass price: $10

Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling 2017, bottle on white

Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling 2017


Seven Daughters Moscato 2018

Chalky minerals with a medium sparkly sweetness and a mild crispness make this unusual Moscato desirable for Indian bites. It’s a perfect wine to be sipped as an aperitif with snacks or Indian desserts, especially gulab jamun, sandesh, modak, and payasam. Suggest this wine to your patrons at the end of their meal.

Suggested glass price: $8

Seven Daughters Moscato 2018, bottle on white

Seven Daughters Moscato 2018


Lambrusco Dell’emilia Bianco NV

This Lambrusco from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region is a palate pleaser. Effervescent rather than bubbly with lots of sweetness, this crispy, fruit-driven white Lambrusco is a perfect match for classic butter chicken and korma dishes with cream-based sauces. Seafood and shellfish both love this wine.

Suggested glass price: $8

Lambrusco Dell’emilia Bianco NV, bottle on white

Lambrusco Dell’emilia Bianco NV


Graham Beck Bliss Demi Sec NV

This South African sparkling wine is made in the traditional méthode champenoise style and is a blend of 61 percent Pinot Noir and 39 percent Chardonnay. The slight sweetness, with butterscotch and praline notes, balances out the heat and spices associated with Indian food. The mild acidity keeps the palate clean while preparing you for the next bite. This sparkling wine favors rich fish, like salmon and tuna, as well as game, especially venison.

Suggested glass price: $10

Graham Beck Bliss Demi Sec NV. bottle on white

Graham Beck Bliss Demi Sec NV