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Bangkok to Bourgeuil: Flavor Adventures with Thai Food & Wine

Bangkok to Bourgeuil: Flavor Adventures with Thai Food & Wine

by the 5VINES Team

Images courtesy of

If you’re among the many Canadians who crave Thai food at least once a month, you know there’s something utterly satisfying about its blend of sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, and umami flavors.

From Som Tam and Tom Kha to Pad Thai and Panang curry, Thai cuisine truly offers something for everyone – be it meat-lovers, seafood fans, vegetarians, vegans, and those with dietary restrictions. 

But once you’ve found your favourite dishes, how do you find the perfect wine pairing? Unlike traditional European cuisines, Thai food doesn’t have a wine making heritage to fall back on, and you’re unlikely to find a sommelier at your local Thai restaurant.

That said, the lack of rules or traditional pairings can work in your flavour…err, favour.
If you’ve dreamed about having a white wine with beef, but felt like it would be a faux pas…fear not you can with Thai cuisine. So, if you’re scratching your head about what to pour with your favourite dish, we recommend the following:

Cool Down the Heat
with This Sparkling Red:

Paltrinieri Piria Lambrusco: This sparkling Italian red is served chilled and is wonderfully food-friendly, working with both spicy foods and more aromatic offerings.

Drink Lambrusco with a coconut curry for a combination you won’t forget. (click on image to purchase online)

Alsace to Thailand: A Flavor Journey with Gewurztraminer

Wolfberger Gewurztraminer – Gewurz in German translates into “spicy” so this organic Alsatian white from Wolfberger will pair perfectly with Thai chilis. The floral aromas and tropical fruit notes won’t be overwhelmed by spices. Should you choose to amp up the heat, the slight sweetness of the wine will help cool your palette.

Drink with green curry or the spiciest curry available on your take-out menu. (click on image to purchase online)

Acidity and Intrigue: The Secret of Orange Wine Pairings

Gerard Bertrand Orange Gold – A 7-grape blend of Chardonnay, Chenin, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Muscat, from Mediterranean France. This orange wine combines tannin and acidity, making it ideal with any Thai option featuring tamarind sauce.

Drink with Pad Thai or appetizers that have a tamarind based dipping sauce. (click on image to purchase online)

Cabernet Franc,
Re-imagined: Light and Bright for Thai Nights

Marchesseau Bourgueuil Poid Plume – Cabernet Franc has a herbaceous component as part of its personality and so too, do many dishes in Thai cuisine. The Poid Plume (lightweight in English) organic Cab franc from France’s Loire Valley, will compliment a wide range of menu items because as a low tannin red it won’t overwhelm the meal.

Drink with padka-prao, a traditional basil stir-fry with minced beef, pork or seafood. (click on image to purchase online)

Acidity Cuts Through Richness: Riesling and Red Curry

Gruen Rheingau Riesling – We would be remiss to not include a Riesling on this list. From the Rheingau, this German Riesling has zippy acidity, citrus flavours and some minerality. Making it a perfect companion for the intense flavours of Thai food and even making the less-spicy menu items sing.

Drink with shrimp toast appetizers or a red curry main. (click on image to purchase online)

From Confusion to Culinary Clarity:

While Thai food can initially seem overwhelmingly complex and the idea of what to drink with it overwhelming, once you get the hang of it you’ll be rewarded with a wine and cuisine combination that’s even been recognized by the Michelin Guide. Remember, Thai food is about balance with no one flavour dominating, and the wine should work in harmony with the food to enhance the flavours not overpower them.

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