North Coast Wine Co. Outerbound Pinot Noir – WineO Mark Review Wine Stats Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir Vintage: 2019 ABV: 14% Wine Region: North Coast,
Thai Food Wine Pairing: For The 10 Most Popular Thai Dishes
Thailand is well-known for its aromatic, spicy, and flavorful cuisine. And Thai cuisine has a diverse range of flavors that can be paired with a variety of wines.
In this article, we will explore some of the best Thai food and wine pairings! So that you can try at home or at your favorite Thai restaurant.
Table of Contents
Thai Food Wine Pairing Tips
To be honest, it can be a bit of a challenge due to the complex and bold flavors that are often found in Thai cuisine. The spice, heat, and acidity can easily overpower certain wines, while other wines may clash with the flavors. However, with some careful consideration and experimentation, we have found the perfect wines to complement your favorite Thai dishes.
1) Consider the spiciness level
Thai food is known for its spiciness, which can be challenging when it comes to wine pairing. Spicy dishes tend to go well with white wines that have a touch of sweetness (such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, or Chenin Blanc). Because these wines can help to cool down the spice and bring out the flavors of the Thai Food dishes.
2) Think about acidity
Thai cuisine often includes ingredients like lime, tamarind, and vinegar, which can make the dishes quite acidic. When pairing wine with acidic Thai food, it’s important to choose a wine that is equally acidic or slightly less so. Wines that are high in acidity include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio), and Chardonnay.
3) Look for fruity wines
Thai cuisine often includes tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and papaya, which pair well with fruity wines. Wines that have fruity notes can complement the flavors of Thai food and balance out the spice (such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, or Shiraz).
4) Consider the sauce
Thai dishes are often accompanied by flavorful sauces, such as peanut sauce or fish sauce. These sauces can be quite salty, which can be balanced out by a fruity or slightly sweet wine (like Rosé, Pinot Noir, or Riesling).
5) Experiment with Sparkling wines
Sparkling wines can be a great option for pairing wine with Thai food, especially if you are unsure which wine to choose. The bubbles in the wine can help to cleanse the palate and cut through the spiciness of the dish. Sparkling wines like Prosecco or Champagne can pair well with spicy dishes. While a sweeter sparkling wine like Moscato can complement Thai food with fruity or sweet sauces.
10 Best Wine Pairings with Thai Food Dishes
Tom Yum Soup and Riesling
Tom Yum Soup is a hot and sour soup that is a staple of Thai cuisine. This soup is usually made with shrimp, mushroom, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, and chili.
And the combination of spicy, sour, and sweet flavors makes it a great pairing with the very versatile Riesling wine. Riesling has a high acidity level that can cut through the spiciness of the soup while complementing its citrusy and sweet flavors.
Another good option would be Gewürztraminer, a white wine that pairs well with this spicy dish. Because it has a slightly sweet and floral taste that can complement the fragrant herbs and spices in Tom Yum soup.
Pad Thai and Chardonnay
One of the most popular Thai dishes, Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish that is often served with shrimp, tofu, or chicken. It’s a slightly sweet and tangy, yet savory Thai food dish that is flavored with tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar.
Therefore, Chardonnay is a great wine pairing with Pad Thai as it has a buttery flavor that can balance the acidity and sweetness of the dish. And the oakiness of the wine can also complement the nuttiness of the peanuts in Pad Thai.
Also, a dry or off-dry Riesling can work well with Pad Thai’s sweet and sour flavors. The wine’s acidity can also help cut through the dish’s richness.
Massaman Curry and Grenache
Massaman Curry is a mildly spicy, rich and creamy curry that is flavored with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. It’s usually made with beef, chicken, or tofu, slow-cooked with potatoes, peanuts, and is often served with rice.
I found that Grenache pairs well with Massaman Curry as it has low tannins, a medium body and acidity that help cut through the creamy texture of the curry. Plus, the fruit-forward wine and peppery flavor profile can complement the spices of the Thai food.
Another good choice would be Syrah/Shiraz because this full-bodied red wine has spicy and fruity notes that can complement the dish’s heat and bold flavors. Also it has a bold flavor and a hint of black pepper that again can complement the spice blend in the curry.
Green Curry and Sauvignon Blanc
Green Curry is a spicy and creamy curry that is flavored with green chili, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. And it has proteins of either chicken or seafood and is served with rice.
Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine pairing with Green Curry as it has a high acidity level that can cut through the spiciness of the curry. Plus, the grassy and herbaceous notes in the wine can also complement the flavors of the curry.
Also another fantastic wine pairing with this Thai food dish would be a Grüner Veltliner! Because this crisp and acidic white wine can complement the dish’s herbal notes and brighten its flavors. But it also has notes of white pepper that will be a great addition to rich dishes like this.
Or better yet, try a sweet Champagne! The bubbles in the wine can help to cleanse the palate and it adds a touch of sweetness that helps to balance out the heat of the curry.
Thai Chicken Satay and Riesling
When pairing wine with Thai Chicken Satay, you’ll want to choose a wine that complements the bold flavors of the dish without overpowering them. And again Riesling is a great choice because the slight sweetness and acidity of a German Riesling can balance the heat of the dish while complementing its bright, citrusy flavors.
And if you prefer red wine, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can work well with this dish. The wine’s bright fruitiness and low tannins won’t overwhelm the flavors of the chicken or peanut sauce.
Larb Gai Thai Chicken Salad and Rosé
One of my favorite Thai dishes! Larb Gai Thai Chicken Salad is traditionally served with fresh lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves, which are used to wrap the chicken mixture, creating a refreshing and crunchy texture. But also the roasted ground rice gives the dish a unique nutty flavor, and the lime juice and fish sauce add a tangy and savory taste to the chicken. And typically this dish is very spicy.
Again a Riesling works great here. But I’m going to recommend a dry Rosé or Sparkling Rosé with good acidity. Because the wine’s refreshing nature complements the spicy flavors, and the fruitiness goes well with the lime juice and herbs.
And if you are going for a red wine recommendation, try a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir. This light-bodied French red wine is a great match for the salad’s spiciness and earthiness. And its fruity and juicy notes can balance the dish’s heat while also complementing its herbaceous flavors.
Green Papaya Salad and Dry Riesling
This is a refreshing and spicy Thai dish (aka Som Tam) that features shredded green papaya, carrots, tomatoes, and chili peppers. When it comes to pairing wine with this dish, you’ll want to choose a wine that can balance the heat and acidity of the salad while also refreshing your palate, so a Dry Riesling works great again.
But also a crisp, refreshing white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc is a great match for the bold and spicy flavors of Green Papaya Salad. The grassy, herbaceous notes of the wine can complement the dish’s herbal and earthy flavors.
Thai Panang Curry and Shiraz
A popular Thai dish that features tender chunks of meat or tofu cooked in a rich and creamy curry sauce with aromatic herbs and spices. So if you prefer a red wine with more body and richness, a Syrah/Shiraz can work well with Thai Panang Curry. The wine’s spicy and peppery notes can complement the dish’s heat and aromatic spices while also balancing the creaminess of the curry.
But also a full-bodied white wine like Viognier has a rich texture and bold flavors that can complement the creaminess and complexity of Thai Panang Curry. Its stone fruit and floral notes can also balance the dish’s spiciness.
Yellow Chicken Curry and Chardonnay
Another popular Thai dish that features tender chicken cooked in a fragrant yellow curry sauce made with turmeric, ginger, and other aromatic spices. I really like a Chardonnay here, with its rich and buttery notes that can work well with the creamy texture of the curry.
Also the bold fruitiness and floral notes of a Viognier can complement the dish’s aromatics, while its acidity can balance the richness of the curry.
And for a red wine suggestion, let’s go with the medium body and richness of a bold Zinfandel. Because the wine’s spicy characteristics and jammy ripe(sweet) fruit notes can complement the dish’s aromatic spices while also balancing its richness and heat.
Mango Sticky Rice and Moscato
Mango Sticky Rice is a sweet and creamy dessert that is made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, and ripe mango. Moscato is a great wine pairing with Mango Sticky Rice as it has a sweet and fruity flavor that can complement the sweetness of the dessert. The light and effervescent nature of the wine can also balance the creaminess of the coconut milk. Just a great dessert wine to have at the end of the meal!
In conclusion, Thai food and wine pairings can be a great way to enhance your dining experience. With its diverse range of flavors, Thai cuisine can be paired with a variety of wines that can complement and enhance the flavors of the dishes.
So, the next time you order Thai food, don’t be afraid to experiment with different wine pairings to find the perfect match.
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