We finished off the Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Soup) from Wednesday and were pleased that it had developed more intense Thai spice flavours. We served it with Oriental egg noodles this time.
We decided to match this with a more strongly flavoured wine and opened a bottle of Brancott Estate Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Costco. This is citrussy, with peaches, melons and apricots with a creamy, fruity tang. We have found New Zealand Sauvignons a reliably good match with Thai food where sweetness is not prominent.
We cooked Chicken, Coconut & Galangal Soup, with Chilli and Kaffir Lime Leaves (Tom Kha Gai), from Rick Stein and served in with Jasmine Rice. This is the chicken version of the well-known Thai dish Tom Yum Gung that usually features prawns. We expected a little more flavour and substance from this recipe, but it was still pleasant.
We opened a bottle of Fleur de Roche 2010 Cotes de Gascogne IGP from the Sunday Times Wine Club. This is Sauvignon Blanc based and we enjoyed its lemony, citrussy, melon and peach flavours with some minerality on the finish. The wine was a good, if not stunning, match.
Our daughter cooked us a slightly modified version of Green Curry from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. It had typical Thai flavours and we opened a couple of bottles of Brancott Estate Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Costco.
This reliable New Zealand white delivered tropical fruits with citrus lemon and an acidic edge but it was still smooth. A good match with the meal.
We opened a jar of Tom Yum Gung spice paste from the Asian supermarket, added chicken and some other Thai ingredients and enjoyed the famous Thai soup. In the absence of any overtly sweet ingredients in the dish, we thought a dry white would be OK. The description of the Cono Sur Chilean Riesling 2010 from Tesco suggested this wine would be dry. In the event, it proved to be slightly off-dry, but it didn’t matter. It was a very good match. The lemon flavours had an affinity with the lemongrass in the soup. There was also a refreshing spicy tang and a minerally creaminess.
You will not have noticed too many barbecue food and wine pairing blogs here recently. The great British summer has put paid to that. However, today it managed a sunny and warm day, so we used our new barbie for the third time! We had some sirloin steak and saw a Thai Beef Salad recipe in The Great Barbecue Cookbook (Ted Smart) that looked interesting. The steak is barbecued, sliced then tossed with lemongrass, spring onions, fish sauce, lime juice, chillies and coriander. With this mixture of flavours, choosing a suitable wine was challenging. We tried a white first – Stumble Vineyards Chenin Viognier 2009, a South African white from Sunday Times Wine Club. Chenin Blanc can work well with lime flavours and we’ve had successful pairings in the past with Thai food. Not this time though. The steak flavours did the wine no favours. Our Plan B was a bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages 2008 from Costco. We have not had much success in finding good pairings for this wine so far, but I had read that Beaujolais is one of the few reds that can cope with Thai food. It is also recommended by some as a good partner for plain steak. Anyway, we were both pleasantly surprised. The Thai Beef Salad brought out some lovely savoury, earthy, fruity flavours in the wine, which also managed to meet the acidity in the sauce.
We found a great Balinese recipe from Rick Stein – Chicken Braised in Coconut Milk. The Balinese spice paste is wonderful. Lots of Thai-like flavours, so we opened a bottle of Westend Estate Riverina Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009 from Sunday Times Wine Club, which we previously found went very well with a Thai Green Curry (see 1 May 2011). Aromatic, tropical fruits together with lemony citrus flavours and a lovely creaminess. This was a really brilliant match with this dish.
Barbecue time. We did Pork Kebabs with a Satay Dipping Sauce from Supercook and I was looking for a medium-dry wine, possibly a Riesling. However, we also had a bottle of De Bortoli Unoaked Verdelho 2009 from Sunday Times Wine Club that I thought might go well. This crisp white from Australia with lime and citrus flavours suited the Thai spices very well.
We had a Thai meal comprising Chicken Tom Ka (a coconut chicken soup) and Pad Thai, the famous prawn noodle stir fry. We drank a bottle of the usually reliable McWilliams Hanwood Riesling 2007 from Makro. The slightly off-dry and minerally creaminess was an excellent match with the soup, but the pairing with the Pad Thai was less successful. There were a lot of competing flavours from the sauce, beansprouts, peanuts and coriander leaves.
My wife Teresa visited the oriental grocers yesterday and we had a Thai Penang Curry. We read that Alsace Tokai Pinot Gris goes well, but we did not have any. Alternatives were New World Chardonnays or Sauvignon Blancs. We weren’t sure what would be best and opened The Loose Goose Unwooded Chardonnay a Chilean white from Sunday Times Wine Club. This was not a clash but was by no means a brilliant match, so we put this to one side and opened a Casiliero Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, another Chilean white but from Costco. This was a much better match and it coped well with the spicy and unique flavours you get from Thai food.