When weather is cooling off I automatically think it’s time for something spicy but not really hot. If you are in love with the heady flavors like Indian food, but lost when it comes to the wine to match, just think sweet with heat: Off-dry wines from cooler climates are a great foil for spicy fare.

Gewürztraminer geh-VOORTS-truh-MEE-ner is just slightly sweet and has lovely floral perfumes. With a moderate alcohol level don’t go over 14.5 percent, or the wine will “burn” on the palate with spicy food and is difficult to pair with foods, this wine melds and meshes with the complex flavors of curry and adds dimension to an Indian meal.

When making curry at home, keep it mild to medium and choose chicken or fish to match the wine. A low-fat curry that’s packed with full, fragrant flavor you can make in one pot. To make this main course a showstopper for entertaining, I use golden roasted chicken over a rich, smooth sauce. Oven-crisped chickpeas and lots of fresh cilantro make this an irresistible dish with lots of textures and flavors. Now is the perfect time to try it.

1 whole chicken cut into 8-10 pieces

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cinnamon stick

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons minced ginger

4 large tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons garam masala

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to pan, then chicken, skin-side down, in 2 batches. Cook until golden, 3 min. per side. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until chicken is springy when pressed, about 25 min.

Return same pan to heat on medium. Add onion and cinnamon stick. Cook until onion starts to soften, 3 min. Add garlic and ginger. Cook 1 min. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 min. Remove chicken and discard cinnamon stick. Scrape hot sauce into a food processor. Purée until smooth. Pour back into pan and stir in sour cream. Cook until heated, about 2 min. Ladle sauce into bowls and set chicken on top.

Serve with a lightly chilled Gewürztraminer.

Yield: 4 servings