1st - I never said you were a wine steward. I said I've heard wine stewards say the same thing for years. To add to that, including restaurant sommeliers (not even referring to you).
2nd - You said that acidity aggitates the spiciness. I completely disagree, as does many other publications. Acidity provides crisp refreshness. (.72-.75) See 4.
3rd - I was speaking of Alsace Gewurztraminers, of which many are lower in acidity. In any event, almost all of the best complimentary wines to spicy food I've found is white wines with good acidity. I was led in this direction from some local wine experts. I didn't come up with this on my own.
4th - Acidity creates a refreshing feeling in the mouth, acidity being essential for a wine to be refreshing. In that way, it cuts through the spiciness.
5- beer does not douse heat. Eat a hot pepper and try to squelch the heat from a beer. Won't work. To much air in the bubbles. Water doesn't work for that matter. Of course, if it's hot enough, wine won't work either. Alcohol can aggrivate heat too. Any chili pepper expert can tell you that.
6- I completely agree with your last paragraph.
7- in my opinion, the Merlot (as discussed at the top of the thread) my have just as gone well with the chili because of the meat and tomato sauce. I have yet to pair Merlot with chili myself, however, yet I don't think it would be refreshing feel while eating a spicy chili.
Look, you have your angle, which comes from your years of experience. I have my angle, which comes from my experience (which pales in comparison) and the advice of a few respected wine experts and some recent publications. It has worked for me, particularly with spicy asian cuisine, so I'll stick by it for now. In any event, I'm sorry if you thought I was being catty, I wasn't. I, too, was making some thought provoking suggestions, though they differed from yours. I wasn't suggesting a Pinot Griggio either. I don't drink the stuff. I found, with my own cooking, that Dr. Frank's Dry and Semi-Dry Reisling (NY) worked - although, the Semi-Dry is slightly higher in acidty it is also higer in sugar. I'm not too into "sweet," so, I think I preferred the Dry Reisling...but that's nothing odd, I like the Dry Reisling better without food - so, I have a little bit of a built in biased. In any event, the crisp acidity was great for spicy food.
oh, PS - off subject, I'm off to drink a White Syrah from California. I've never has a white syrah before. For some reason or another, I've steered away from this, but, it was a Christmas gift, and after all this wine talk, well, it's going to get uncorked. Maybe I'll start a new thread if it's any good.
Oh, no...sorry, It's not from california. My Sister in Law gave this to me. I like buying wines from whereever I am. Ya know, taste the local product. She lives in Lockport, NY - which is Western, NY which is most well-known for all the concord and niagra grapes that are grown in that region for Welch's grape juice.
Anyway, this vineyard is called Spring Lake Winery www.springlakewinery.com).
They describe the wine as a Rosé. Paired best with cold hors d'oeuvres or fruit. I suspect, this might be too sweet for my liking. But - pop! It's going to get tasted.
The winery is so young, I think they've bought grapes from california to get them going and selling wine (I guess they need to pay for the new vineyard - which explains my confusion as to where this wine came from). They plan to make Reisling and Pinot Noir their main vision.