When it comes to pairing wine with food, it is important to be specific. Not all Thai dishes have the exact same flavour profile. Many Thai dishes will use a full array of salty, spicy, sweet and sour. A wine that pairs beautifully with a spicy and sour Tom Yum Gai will not be the optimal choice for a basil beef dish with earthier flavours.
You may notice a little bit of a trend in our best wine recommendations. For Thai food, we’re a big fan of Riesling as the wine of choice. This is because of the light and fruity notes that really cut through a lot of the spice and bitter flavours found in Thai cooking.
To help you navigate through which wine to order with your next Thai meal, we’re going to look today at some popular Thai dishes. For each one, we’re going to select the best wine that we believe will pair beautifully with your chosen Thai meal.
Below are the eight best wines with Thai food:
1. Pad Thai and Riesling Wine
Of course, we’re going to start with this classic noodle dish. Sweet and sour in flavour, pad thai can often include shrimp or chicken. The best wine that pairs beautifully with this Thai delicacy is an off-dry Riesling. This wine is the perfect mix of sweet and dry and balances the intricate and subtle flavours of the tamarind sauce mixed in with the noodles.
The acidity and spice is a nice counterpoint to the Riesling’s clean and brisk grape subtle sweetness. Trust us, you are going to love this pairing.
2. Pad See Ew and Pinot Noir Wine
This is a personal favourite of ours. The larger noodles provide a very different experience to many of the other Thai dishes out there. This dish is laden with umami flavouring. This savoury, brothy meaty taste is best complimented with a light red. Pinot Noir has just the right about of bounce to the flavour to provide a nice dry addition to this meal.
The hints of baked apple and pear, with some feisty notes of honey, orange and ginger make this a really fun wine to experiment with alongside a nice hearty beef pad see ew.
3. Thai Red or Green Curry (or any curry) and Riesling Wine
The main difference between these two dishes is the colour of the chilli that is used to prepare them. Red curry is usually a little spicier, however, the flavour profile of these two dishes is comparable.
To match the spice used in the Thai curry, it is best to use an equally robust Merlot wine. Fruity and slightly sweet, this wine makes for a delicious way to cut through the harshness of this spicy dish. Another option is, of course, a Riesling again. This will pair well with most Thai dishes.
4. Thai Spring Rolls and a Sparkling Rosé Wine
Although you are probably going to have these as an appetizer to your Thai meal, we think they deserve a special mention. We love the crunch of a perfectly fried spring roll along with a sparkling rosé. The two just go beautifully together. The heavy fried taste of the spring rolls contrasts well with the light and fizzy rosé.
5. Tom-Yum-Gai and Chardonnay Wine
For this spicy and sour soup, we’re going to tee up a Chardonnay. You’ll want to find one that is unoaked and fruity. The additional sugar that you get from an unoaked wine will help to enhance the flavours of the soup without letting them overpower.
Tom-Yum soups come in a wide variety of flavours so be sure to be seeking out not just the best wine, but also your favourite Tom-Yum variant.
6. Chicken Satay and… not wine
This food is very popular in Thai restaurants and is a wonderful addition to your table. Usually, the meat is chicken served with a peanut sauce. We’re going to throw you a curve ball here, and say you would be better off drinking a beer with this dish. If you do want us to twist our arm and suggest a wine then it would be something sweet like a Cabernet or Chardonnay.
7. Thai fresh rolls and Riesling Wine
Thai fresh rolls are a very healthy tasting and light way to start any meal. They are delicate and fun to eat. For this reason, we recommend a nice Riesling. There is often basil or cilantro used in this dish so you want the wine to be able to play of these strong herb flavours with some fruity notes of its own.
8. Tom Kha Kai and Riesling Wine
This chicken and coconut soup incorporate ginger and lemongrass to create a wonderful ballet of flavour. What wine would we recommend for this Thai classic? We’re going to go back to our old faithful Riesling. You’re going to be looking for a summery and fruity wine that allows you to enhance all of the tropical flavours of the soup.