Wine Talk

Snooth User: GTSOPRANO

What red to pair with Thai cuisine

Posted by GTSOPRANO, Feb 20, 2010.

I had an incredible meal of a red curried braised lamb shank with Brussels sprouts and root vegetables recently. I've been searching for the perfect red to pair with something like that. The meal had the salt and heat you'd expect in Thai cooking, but the heft and umami calling out for a nice red. Any thoughts?


Reply by napagirl68, Feb 20, 2010.

Hmm... others with more knowledge will chime in, but the lamb curry makes me think of a nice Syrah, although I am not sure how a syrah would do with the brussel sprouts... curious to see what others say...

Reply by dmcker, Feb 20, 2010.

I think the syrah's pepper would clash with the Thai chili and other spices. How hot is the curry, and what are the spices in it?

If it's a proper Thai curry, and not a Westernized dish with hints of Thailand in it, why match a red, anyway? Beer is much more like it. If something milder and mediated (highly likely in this case since Thais don't generally cook with lamb), but still with some kick, then perhaps a wine with a sweeter edge might be the answer. Though I'm not a huge consumer of the style, maybe even a well made, mostly dry, Lambrusco?

Reply by GTSOPRANO, Feb 21, 2010.

I did opt for beer, given the restaurants wines...however I'm liking your notion of Lambrusco!

Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 21, 2010.

When it comes to pairing wine with oriental cooking you need to bear in mind that salt in a dish exaggerates coarse tannins in reds and that the tannin in wine makes the chilli element in the dish explode on the palate. For that reason, if you really want to pair a red wine with a curry dish then it's best to stick to wines that are high on fruit and low in tannin. I'd look to something from either the Languedoc region of France (more heat, more sweet fruit on the palate, smooth tannins) or Chile/Argentina. Normally I would say that a Syrah from the Rhone would be too austere although we enjoyed a very fruity Gigondas last night with rabbit cooked with lemon grass and coconut milk and beef tongue cooked tandoori style. However, being in France, the dishes were NOT hot so this would probably have worked differently if there was a big chilli element in the dish.

Reply by amour, Feb 22, 2010.

I would have expected Cathy Shore to present a VACQUERAYS.......
if only because there are some vintages of VACQUERAYS that are much more
fruit-forward than others.

The 2007 Mas du Bouquet Vacquerays ( available in USA)
may be a good idea.

Or even the racy PERRIN LES CHRISTINS VACQUERAYS 2005 or 2006.....
from PERRIN & FILS, of course. It is rich in texture.

Just an idea.

Thank you.

Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 23, 2010.

The Gigondas that we drank was Le Mas des Flauzières Gigondas 2005 La Grande Reserve - we paid 28 Euros in the restaurant we were eating but I found it online for 12 Euros direct from the producer which makes it pretty good value in my book. It had wonderful sweet fruit on the nose with hints of chocolate, spice, coffee and leather. On the palate, soft tannins did not overwhelm the fruit which stayed until the end. Of course I'm sure that the 2005 vintage has something to do with it!. I don't know if it's widely available though.

Reply by mmrmaid, Feb 23, 2010.

i totally agree with amour on this one...or how about a grenache?

Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Feb 23, 2010.

I have found Reds to be a bit too heavy to match with exotic foods and I really love curry, chinese, Thai and all that. Believe it or not, if you must, I suggest Chateauneuf du Pape. First of all just about everybody under the sun likes it, it has got a lot of interesting fruit, etc. It will be dry enough to cut some of the fat, which is found in a curried lamb and robust enough to fight the bitterness in the sprouts and root veggies.

But for this dish personnaly I would go with a fun, cheap white like Cotes de Gascogne, or my all around flexible wine a nice, on the dry side crisp and chilled Rose.

Reply by Charles Emilio, Feb 25, 2010.

I've never had a problem pairing my two favourite whites with Thai food.

Marsanne & Riesling.

Reply by zufrieden, Feb 27, 2010.

Beer - period - unless you have some prior experience with a particular red that seemed to work in the past (I have no particular one to offer). If you must have a red, I would choose a rustic, powerful but modestly priced Italian Vino de Tavola of some reasonable provenance. There is no point sacrificing anything remotely like finesse when combinining wine with spice.

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