White wines perfectly paired with Thai green curry
Matching wine with food is one of the most difficult things to do. It’s so subjective to begin with. Some of us are very sensitive tasters, while others are incredibly tolerant, so where do you start? Well, it will obviously depend on your tastes, but broadly speaking hot food likes wines with a little less acidity. That’s simply because the heat in your food can make a wine feel hot and very acidic, so it’s a good idea to go fruity and nearer the end of “off dry”.
The perfect wines in this range – and you have a lot of them – are your Rieslings (Alsace, Germany particularly, although more and more from Australia and New Zealand today), Pinot Gris (a lower yield, generally, and tastier than Pinot Grigio), and Gewurztraminer (the famously spicy, fruity and intensely aromatic variety). I’ve also got a curve ball Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend from Bordeaux I think is perfect for this dish, which is the 2012 Chateau Saint-Jean-des-Graves (87%) I recently reviewed.
Matching is a little easier here thanks to the wonderful creaminess of the coconut milk in the classic Thai green curry dish, great for the fruity aromatics I’ve suggested.
The good wine to match…
Cave de Beblenheim Pinot Gris Reserve 2013
Great value Pinot Gris (£10.49, Waitrose, Feb 2015) from Alsace, France. This matches so well with spicy food because it has a very slightly flabby body while remaining delicate and light overall when paired with food – so it stands up to creaminess well too, which is good with the coconut-base in the curry.
Much richer than a Pinot Grigio, this is a superb example of how to do Pinot Gris really well. One of the best out there and it only gets better alongside a plate of Thai food.
The wonderfully good wine to match…
Chateau Saint-Jean-des-Graves 2012
One of the best white wines I’ve had the pleasure of trying is this Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend from Chateau Saint Jean (£8.49, Waitrose, Feb 2015). Extremely fresh and aromatic, the wine is medium bodied with enough acidity and fruity flavour to make it a stylish match for Thai food. However it’s the wine’s herbaceous notes that make it an even better choice than Pinot Gris, complimenting curry vegetables like mushrooms and green pepper, while the aromatic character of the wine goes very well with the curry’s coriander spice.
There’s also a little bit of citrus complexity that nears the lime rather than lemon, so that obviously pairs nicely with the lemongrass. Excellent match!
The sublime wine to match…
Rolf Binder “Highness” Riesling 2013
Beautifully succulent and packed with citrus juice this new world Australian Riesling from Eden Valley is fit for royalty (£10.99, Waitrose, Feb 2015). And if that royalty were having a Thai green curry there’s few wines better to make the match with. Rolf Binder’s Highness captures those enticing tropical fruits of a hotter climate while adding plentiful acidity to the finish, which works stunningly with the curry’s aromatic spices.
The finish is also quite long and the body has a fuller mouthfeel so it will stand up confidently to your curry as well.
The outstanding, best wine to match…
Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer 2013
An astonishingly complex wine packed with fruit and spice, Paul Blanck’s Gewurztraminer (£15.49, Waitrose, Feb 2015) is a treasure from France’s Alsace region. Delicate, aromatic body with ginger and lychee on the nose, while pears, rose and sweet turkish delight make up a characterful mouthfeel.
This is a wine made to go with your best made Thai green curries, the ones where you know you’ve got the flavours just right. There is no better match.