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Jun 3, 2012 02:14 AM

Khao Yai (wine country) Thailand

I'll be visiting Khao Yai in late July as a part of a very short trip to Thailand, I took a look on the board and don't see any information on this wine producing part of the country and the restaurants/food there. I've heard there are some very good winery restaurants and hoped someone could provide some hints or tips.

We'll be spending more time in Nakhon Phanom province about 30 mins from the airport, but haven't yet got the name of the village/nearest town. This is a long shot but I'd be interested in good eats in this remote area as well.

I'll report back in August when I'm home again.

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  1. Definitely try to make it to Krua Khao Yai. Their pork rib is to die for! Also try the sunflower sprouts.

    GPS coordinates: 101.406582, 14.561584

    3 Replies
    1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

      Your airport and Khao Yai are over 500 kilometers apart.

      1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

        Correct, but we're flying into BKK and then taking 3 days to drive up to Nakhon Phanom (going through Khao Yai), after which we're flying back to BKK from Nakhom Phanom to return home.

        It's all rather complicated and involves a village wedding in Nakhon Phanom province, we're just trying to take advantage of the Thai countryside before getting sucked into the wedding festivities.

        I'll start scouring the board for Bangkok recommendations soon as we'll have a few days there to decompress before we start driving.

        1. re: vanderb

          Then definitely head to Krua Khao Yai. It's probably the most popular dining destination in the area.

          However, we aren't talking "fine dining". It's all about the food. You may wish to bring your own wine if that is a priority. Didn't notice what they might have to offer.

    2. When in the Khao Yai Wine Region please have a look at the Great Hornbill Grill which is located amidst the vineyards of PB Valley Khao Yai Winery. The food is certainly among the best in the area and the wine tasting tour shows you how much efforts are made to produce award winning Thai wine. For your information please have a look here

      13 Replies
      1. re: HeribertG

        Heribert, thanks for the recommendation, prior to Curt's response this was the only place I had had recommended from other sources and is likely our first stop in the Khao Yai region.

          1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

            Curt you already mentioned Krua Khao Yai, otherwise the new Smoke House! Please also have a look at the Facebook Side of the Khao Yai Attractiona Alliance. Other Wineries than PB Valley Khao yai Winery are Village Farm at Wang Nam Kieow on the way there is Alcidini a new place also in the region is GranMonte Winery so besides the National Park there is plenty to do... cheers

            1. re: HeribertG

              For me, restaurants are about food only. I have no interest in wine; don't drink.

              Read great things about Smokehouse. But, friends who visited didn't care for it.

              On the way out that way, we sometimes stop at Chokchai for a Steak Burger, one of the few good burgers in Thailand.

              1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                Restaurants are always about food (especially in Thailand). My favourite quote from a Thai Cookbook was “No wine goes with Thai food. That is because there is no beverage culture in Thailand. We drink to get drunk.” - Chef McDang

                1. re: cacruden

                  For the most part, I can't think of any pairings with most Thai food, beyond beer. Much of the cuisine would overpower most wines.

                  1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                    @cacruden I agree to disagree :-))) - Beverage Culture in Thailand is changing fast. Wine has become increasingly popular.
                    @Curt the Soi Hound - please have a look here maybe you try it for yourself - cheers

                    1. re: HeribertG

                      HeribertG, can't see slideshare at work, blocked site :-( will check out later from home. So keep in mind my comments are without reading your material.

                      Wine matching with Thai food is tough:

                      For me, the tannins in red wine - even a light red - detract from the cuisine. Can maybe drink a pinot noir with no fruit on its palate with some dishes but it's generally not really a good match. I like a rose but it's generally a stand-alone drink and not great with food (maybe cheese).

                      With white wine, the oak in chardonnay doesn't work (like tannins in a red) and the fragrance of a sauvignon blanc just clashes with the inherently fragrant Thai cuisine. Pinot grigio is unoffensive but you'd be drinking just for the sake of drinking as the food will overpower it - it's not a true match.

                      The best I can think of is a blend of semillion/sauvignon blanc (very popular in Australia, but struggle to find in HK). By blending, both the acidity of the semillion and the fragrance of the sauvignon blanc are toned down but you end up with a semi-robust wine without the oak. I still say it's not a great match but it works to a certain degree, more than most.

                      As much as I want wine to have a synergy with Thai food (and have tried), to me it's never as satisfying as a cold beer (as Curt suggests). Match made in heaven.

                      1. re: p0lst3r

                        In my opinion there are some white wines that can pair very nicely with Thai food and I have had them presented as such. Gewürztraminer (traditionally from Central Europe) and translates in English to "spicy grape" stands up brilliantly to Thai flavours. I have also found some dry Reislings with high acidity can do the job, as will WelschReisling and to a lesser degree (ie: not curries) Gruner Veltliner. Another white that stands up well to fragrent Thai dishes (herbaceaous) is Erenfeltzer as it too can be herbaceaous and floral, but this is much harder to find. If you travel around Sicily there are a few whites that can also pair up with Thai spicyness (not necessarily coconut creamines) such as Grillo, but again not always easy to find.

                        I have not yet encountered a red that can do the job and agree any oak aged Chardonnay cannot cut it, although there are stainless steel aged Chardonnay's that have the potential to do so.

                        I'm going to be attending a Thai food wine pairing education session in the next few months, not sure when it will be booked, I'd be happy to share thoughts/notes if there's any interest.

                          1. re: vanderb

                            I attended a Thai dinner (in HK) recently and a wine distributor met with the chef to match the wines. They did, in fact, choose a Gewürztraminer and a Reisling, among others, so you're not alone in that thinking.

                            For me, I didn't enjoy either of those wine choices so didn't think too hard about how it matched the food. Might have been those particular wines than the grape variety so will reserve judgement until I try again.

                            1. re: p0lst3r

                              Those wines are definately not for everyone, I tasted them for several years before they grew on me. People who are committed red wine drinkers also tend to look down on these wines as they can often be sweet (I prefer the dry versions), quality can vary widely and some don't appreciate/like the floral notes in the nose.

                              To each his own, but now that I have some varietals that go well with Thai food I'm quite happy. On the other hand where I currently live doesn't have very good Thai food generally so I don't get to enjoy the combination much.

                              1. re: vanderb

                                I do agree a Gewuerztraminer fits nicley with some Thai Dishes and before I knew the Thai Wine Industry this was the wine of choice to match - nowadays I choose and recommend different but of course wine is a very personal matter thus cheers to good wines wherever they come from. PS: By the way none of the wines mentioned in the slide show are sweet - have tasting when in Thailand and cheers.