WITH Ally preparing such a flavoursome dish, you have to make sure that your glass of wine can stand up to the spice challenge.

Gone are the days when the only option with Indian food was a chilled pint of lager, but you do have to open your mind and experiment a bit. Slow cooking and a wonderful combination of intricate spices help to create a dish with depth and character, which you then have to match with the depth and character of the wine.

You should avoid very light wines, as well as the very mature bottles from the back of the wine cupboard. With maturity comes a certain subtlety and fragility that will simply be blown away by the dish. Instead, seek out younger, more vibrant wines with an aromatic character and lots of fruit.

White wines will make for an easier match and I’d suggest a fresh New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a decent Australian Semillon or a tasty Gewurztraminer from Alsace (or its new world equivalent). If you fancy a red, low-tannin is the key. A fruity Beaujolais Grand Cru, or a Negroamaro from Puglia, would fit the bill. You could also try a Cannonau (Grenache) from Sardinia, which will pack a bit more of a punch.

Peter Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Waitrose, £11.59). From one of my all-time favourite New Zealand producers, this is both very tasty and great value for money. You’ll also have to go a long way to find a more environmentally-friendly business.

Villa Maria Private Bin Gewurztraminer 2016 (Waitrose, £10.99). This is a lovely mid-point between the old world and the new. It has all the classic flavours of Alsace (rose petal, lychee) balanced perfectly with the lush tropical fruit of New Zealand.

Domaine Pardon Julienas 2016 (Majestic, £12.99). This velvety, plummy beauty is great with home-made paté, cold cuts of meat … and tikka spiced lamb shoulder. It’s extremely approachable, but with bags of character.

S’Arai Pala 2013 (Inverarity One to One, £29.49). Now, I know it’s January and this is 30 quid, but you really have to try it. It’s a Cannonau blend from Sardinia (the other grapes are Carignano and Bovale), and it is nothing short of exceptional. Blow away the January blues, and treat yourself to a bottle. Or two. Cheers!

Pete Stewart is Glasgow director of Inverarity One to One, 185a Bath Street, Glasgow www.inveraritymorton.com