Let me ask you a question....

Have you ever eaten at Chat Thai in Sydney?

If you haven't, forget your typical pad see ew and chicken cashew stir-fry, this is authentic Northern Thai food. Think apple eggplant, whole peppercorns and above all, loads of chilli!

I love it, but by the end of the meal, I can barely breathe. I sit there with my mouth open, tongue out, trying anything to stop the burning. I’ve tried beer, I’ve tried water and I’ve tried milk (not a great match for Thai food, FYI). But usually I resort to shovelling plain white rice into my mouth in an effort to smother the fire.

Then I discovered this amazing spicy food and wine hack, and my mind was officially blown.

Ready for it? Okay, grab a pen…

Slightly sweet wine + spicy food = way less ‘mouth on fire’ and way more flavour.

The reason this crazy combo works is because the residual sugar in a slightly sweet wine offsets and absorbs some of the capsaicin (the spicy stuff in chilli responsible for the burning).

It dulls the heat, allowing you to actually taste the underlying flavours in the food. And as a bonus the wine no longer tastes as sweet, so it’s a winner even for people who don’t like sweet wines.

Put it this way… Do you remember when Homer drank candle wax so he could take on Chief Wiggum’s Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango, which are “grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum”? Turns out he should have just downed a bottle of off-dry riesling.

Next up: Take our Wine Palate Quiz and match your personal tastes to your top three wine types