Wine & Beer suggestions for accompanying Thai food
Wine choice and match, whether white or red, are very much a personal preference and there are no set rules, however Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio), Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Rosé are amongst perhaps some of the better known wine choices for complementing Thai food. Their slightly sweeter taste provides a good match for spiciness.
(image: Flickr, Chris Daffin)
Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)
Pinot Gris is a white variety traditionally grown in Alsace in northeast France and in Italy, where it is called Pinot Grigio. In the same way Chardonnay is famous in Australia as a reliable full-flavoured white wine, in Europe Pinot Grigio from Italy and Pinot Gris from France are known for their reliability - wines made from this grape aren't as rich as Chardonnay but they are flavoursome nonetheless and nicely matched to spicy Thai food. This wine in now available from the Yarra Valley (e.g. De Bortoli) and some other Australian wine regions. Pinot Gris is not a relative of Pinot Noir (the 'Pinot' in the name refers only to the pine cone shape of the grape). Pinot Gris generally has a medium-bodied flavour with a tendency to be crisp, steely and refreshing, often with a spicy citrus aroma.
Traditionally from Germany, Riesling is a fruity white wine and is often mixed with other sweet varieties to produce a classic accompaniment to Thai cuisine and other spicy dishes popular across Australia. Traditional German grape-growing area in South Australia excel in producing Riesling, although it is grown across the country.
Gewürztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety that performs best in cooler climates. Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a "white wine grape" as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as "red wine grapes". The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Its aromatic flavours make Gewürztraminer one of the relatively few wines that are generally considered suitable for drinking with Asian cuisine
Rosé wines, often referred to as Blush wines or written Rosé, are wines which are not truly red, but have enough of a reddish tinge to make them assuredly not white. The actual colour varies depending on the grapes involved, and often may seem to be more orange than pink or purple. Rosé wines may be produced in a number of different ways, depending on the desired results. Most Rosé wines are the result of crushing the red grapes used rather early on, so that they are not able to impart their colour – or much tannin – to the final wine. These wines are in most respects white in character and flavour, with only the tinge of red and some subtle taste differences belying the difference. Again, nice with Thai food.
Most beers very nicely complement the spicy nature of Thai food