Haitian cuisine tends toward the bold, spicy flavors characteristic of all classic Caribbean cooking, but its African and indigenous influences are generally more pronounced than that of its island counterparts. Dishes are liberally seasoned with herbs and peppers, and salted and smoked meats often feature prominently on the menus of Haitian restaurants. The traditional adult beverage to enjoy with Haitian food is beer — but if you're one of those with a preference for wine over beer, you may feel at a loss concerning what to drink with this particular type of regional cuisine.
The first thing you need to know about pairing wine with Haitian food is which type of wine won't work at all. In this case, it would be rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo. These wines contain high levels of a substance known as tannins, and this increases the heat factor in Haitian food and other spicy cuisine. If you have your heart set on enjoying a nice glass of red wine with your Haitian meal, make it a lighter variety such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Beaujolais because these wines don't contain as many tannins.
Here are three more wines that pair perfectly with Haitian food:
Sparkling rosé goes especially well with smoked meats, especially when it's served as cold as possible. It's not just recommended for meals containing smoked meats, however — it complements such a wide variety of food that it's an excellent go-to option for when you're not sure what type of wine to order. Sparkling rosé It also adds a festive note to even the simplest meal.
Haitian food features lots of tropical fruits and vegetables, making Pinot Gris a good pairing choice because of its trademark fruity tang. It's perfect with mangos, eggplant, and dewberries. Pinot Gris is simple, straightforward, and comes in a range of flavors from slightly dry to slightly sweet, which makes it easy to accommodate different preferences if you decide to order a bottle for the table.
Haitian cuisine includes a great deal of seafood, such as herring, cod, crab, and shrimp. Because the Moscato is sweeter than most white wines, it pairs particularly well with seafood that retains an accent of salt after it's been cooked. It's ideal for everything from elegant dinners to beachside bonfire fare, as long as seafood is the star of the show.
To learn more about Haitian food, reach out to a restaurant like Fritai.