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Wine with Thai Food

f
Forklaw Feb 18, 2011 03:25 PM

What type of wine pairs well with Thai food? Going to a Thai restaurant Saturday night with another couple. We were designated to bring the wine. $10 - $25 range. Here is link to restaurant and their menu but, of course, I have no idea what anyone will order. http://www.pruthai.com

  1. Chinon00 Feb 18, 2011 09:12 PM

    Wine with Thai is kinda tough because of the inherent sweetness of many of the dishes. I'd suggest a sparkler to lift the palate considering the oils and sugar but then if the wine where too dry it wouldn't be an effective partner. On the otherhand if it were sweeter it all might get cloying.
    Therefore I'd actually suggest beer such as saison or Belgian Pale Ale. The carbonation would provide the lift while the spice, tartness, and hoppiness would additionally contrast the oils and sugar.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chinon00
      westsidegal Feb 19, 2011 10:26 AM

      not only is it tough because of the sweetness of some thai food, but often the food is also spicy and acidic.
      i second Chinon00's recommendation of beer or ale.

    2. w
      willyum Feb 19, 2011 06:19 AM

      I would probably pick a Gewurztraminer from Alsace ... Albrecht or Sparr or Trimbach are all around $18-20 at our local wine store.

      1. f
        Forklaw Feb 19, 2011 12:13 PM

        I agree Chininon and Westsidegal that beer would go better with Thai than wine, but the other folks in the party are not beer drinkers.
        I'm not sure that I think of Thai food as having predominently sweet flavors, perhaps because I tend to order from the spicier curries. Any other suggestions?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Forklaw
          sunshine842 Feb 19, 2011 12:37 PM

          I'd go with a demi-sec sparkler - a little sweet, but not TOO sweet, and the sec to play off the oily and spicy.

          1. re: Forklaw
            w
            willyum Feb 19, 2011 03:59 PM

            "... perhaps because I tend to order from the spicier curries. Any other suggestions?"

            Like I wrote above, Gewurztraminer is often recommended for spicy dishes like Thai food ... here's a quote from this link: http://factoidz.com/gewurztraminer-wi... You can search for "gewurztraminer pairing" and you'll see dozens of similar recommendations ... Alsace makes the best Gewurtz, I think.

            "Many people do not think of serving wine with highly spiced ethnic foods such as Chinese, Indian, and Thai, but Gewürztraminer is often the perfect pairing with such cuisines."

          2. r
            RCC Feb 20, 2011 09:10 AM

            Have had a lot of successful pairing Thai with Gewurztraminer from Alsace.

            1. z
              zin1953 Feb 20, 2011 11:59 AM

              Typically, I also do beer . . . HOWEVER, whenever I'm at Lotus of Siam, I **always** drink wine -- generally I do a German or Austrian Riesling, sometimes an Austrian Gruner Veltliner . . . .

              3 Replies
              1. re: zin1953
                c
                chefdilettante Feb 20, 2011 12:24 PM

                I love that wine list. Agreed--when at Lotus of Siam, one must drink wine.

                1. re: zin1953
                  PolarBear Feb 23, 2011 01:22 PM

                  Just back from LV and two trips to LoS, Our situation wasn't conducive to ordering a bottle of two from their stellar wine list but found that their BTG Chenin Blanc went quite well with the spicy and milder dishes that we ordered. Two great meals, just wish they weren't a six hour drive away. Wine list and menu both available as PDF files on their website: http://www.saipinchutima.com/

                  [ETA] Agree totally with Austrian GVs, enjoy with Sichuan dishes as well.

                  1. re: PolarBear
                    z
                    zin1953 Feb 23, 2011 03:04 PM

                    The best thing about having relatives who actually *live* in Las Vegas is it's relatively easy to invent an excuse to go to LoS . . .

                2. m
                  Maximilien Feb 20, 2011 12:45 PM

                  I've got a Panang Curry going on, and I can't imagine wine with it; not that it's very spicy, but just enough that it will kill wine, even Gewurztraminer.

                  anyway, I don't have it on hand and too lazy to go out and buy some!! but I have beer!

                  1. r
                    Ricardo Malocchio Feb 21, 2011 09:09 AM

                    I love all sorts of off-dry wines with spicy south-asian food, particularly if the food flavors include tropical fruit like pineapple or citrus elements like lime. These might be slightly more abundant in Vietnamese cooking than Thai, but I think there's plenty of cross-over.

                    I think gewurztraminer is great, but I prefer chenin blanc here and I particularly love Francois Chidaine's "Clos Habert" Montlouis sur Loire. 2008 is the current, amazingly wonderful vintage, though if you can find a bottle with some more age on it, then by all means go for that. A $60 wine with a $20 price-tag -- thank god for the Loire! Obviously, I'd include any good Vouvray or Montlouis here, but I've been on quite a Chidaine kick lately, and really looking forward to the 2009 vintage.

                    Rieslings are another good option, and among the the food-friendliest, most versatile and underrated wines. I've also had success with dry Gruner Veltliner, but I find that for me the slightly sweet wines go best with spicy south-asian cuisine.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                      Chinon00 Feb 21, 2011 03:38 PM

                      I don't have any issue with pairing wine with Asian food however I don't know if I'd get carried away with specifying certain vintages of wine since Thai for example can as you state have pretty unsubtle flavors (i.e.: heat, pineapple, lime). I'd think that therefore the cuisine would inherently present a challenge to appreciating a favorite vintage; which I'd save for a simpler dish.

                      1. re: Chinon00
                        r
                        Ricardo Malocchio Feb 22, 2011 05:00 AM

                        Just to be clear, I wasn't recommending *only* the 2008 Chidaine. Rather, I was merely noting that this is the current vintage you're likely to find on the shelves... and it's a good 'un!

                        1. re: Ricardo Malocchio
                          jeffyd Feb 25, 2011 12:56 PM

                          richard's right - an off dry chenin like the chidaine would work very well. a vouvray, or even a non-yeasty sparkling wine would be a great accompaniment.

                    2. jeffyd Feb 25, 2011 12:55 PM

                      Aromatic whites, whites with a bit of residual sugar, or rosé wines with a bit if extraction on them will all work very well with Thai food.

                      Try a dry muscat from Botani or Heidi Schroek (Spain and Austria respectively), a Gewurz from CA or the Alsace, a Trocken or Kabinet reisling from Germany, or a reisling from the Anderson Valley. Mordorée Tavel (or another rich rosé) would work very well too.

                      Stay away from very light whites like Gruners, Verdicchio, Sauvignon Blanc or oaked wines like CA chards and you'll be just fine.

                      1. Vetter Mar 5, 2011 09:27 AM

                        A few years back I went on a mead kick. Really high quality off-dry mead can be really delightful with Thai and Indian food.

                        But Thai is also a great excuse to crack a really nice gewurtz!

                        1. huiray Apr 16, 2011 04:32 PM

                          Skip the wine.
                          Drink tea or water.
                          Skip dessert at the Thai place.

                          If you must, then go somewhere else for a Western-style dessert where you can drink your Western-style wine.

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