One of the most complex cuisines in the world is Thai cuisine. It’s extremely diverse recipes are capable of delivering sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami tastes to the palate, separately or all together at the same time. In addition to the hot chilli peppers, herbs, aromatic spices, roots and coconut milk which are the base of their curries, adding layers of deep flavours to each dish. Therefore, it is said that it is difficult to find the ideal pairing. Even more taking into account that historically Thai people do not usually drink wine with their meals. But did you just order Pad Thai or Green Chicken Curry? Do not worry. Since most dishes are based on seafood, chicken or pork, white or rosé wines are excellent options. If the dishes you ordered are very spicy, a sweeter wine that is served cold like Riesling or Gewurztraminer is better to mitigate the heat and spices. Whereas, for less spicy dishes like Green Papaya Salad or Fried Rice, Rosé Concha y Toro with its fresh and mineral finish, it’s a great company too.
This popular Mexican food dish is believed to have existed since at least 1900. And while it is very similar to the famous tacos, the difference is that its tortilla, instead of corn, is made of flour. That is why its flavour is milder. With various filling options, it usually wraps cheese, rice, beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo (a sauce made of tomato, onion and cilantro). Plus the ingredients that make the difference when looking for a pairing: meat and sauces. If the burrito is filled with white meats such as chicken, a white wine with herbal notes such as Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc will go well with herbs such as coriander and also green chili sauces. While, with red meats such as Carne Asada, Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere will elevate your experience, thanks to the presence of tannins that will help cleanse your palate.
Fish & Chips
Will you eat deep fried food? Well, drink bubbles! This is an indisputable pairing and applies very well to this traditional dish of British cuisine. Since it is a greasy food due to the presence of oil, it needs a highly acidic wine that will cut through the oil and will clean and refresh the palate. That is why it is common for it to be served sprinkled with vinegar. In this case, the sparkling wine Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut, with its delicate citrus notes, hints of apple and minerality, deliver a rich and balanced acidity perfect to pair with this marine preparation that is served with a portion of pea puree. As an alternative, a white wine without wood will also be a good complement.
Very popular in Latin America, although it is gaining more and more presence in Europe, Peruvian cuisine stands out for its great variety of chili peppers and herbs that add a lot of flavour to each preparation. From yellow, limo, panca and rocoto chillies, to herbs such as huacatay, lime juice, meat, seafood, fish, potatoes and rice are the base of this tasty cuisine. In which the umami flavour is usually very present due to the use of Ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate) and soy sauce, given the influence of Japanese and Chinese gastronomy, respectively. This is why, for dishes with a lot of acidity such as Fish Ceviche, citrusy and crispy whites such as Gravas del Bío Bío Sauvignon Blanc are recommended. While, for criolla recipes such as Papas a la Huancaína or Causa (chicken, tuna or shrimp with avocado and mayonnaise), Amelia Chardonnay with its structure and minerality is an excellent wine to pair them with. For highly seasoned red meat dishes like Lomo Saltado or Heart Anticucho, opt for red wines like Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Malbec.
A somewhat challenging pairing, given the large amount of spices, grilled meats and olive oil, is Turkish food. Beyond the well-known Doner Kebab, there are several preparations to take home, among which the popular Dolmas (vine leaves stuffed with rice, pieces of meat and lemon), Koftas (lamb meat, onion, egg and spices croquettes usually roasted on firewood) and how to forget the Baklavas (puff pastry stuffed with pistachio, walnuts and honey), they all stand out. For the savoury options, a very spiced wine that balances these deep dishes is Carmín de Peumo from the wine grape that is characterized by spiced notes, the Carmenère. While for desserts such as Baklava, Concha and Toro Late Harvest from the Sauvignon Blanc strain with its long and fresh finish, will be the sweetest finish.
Ph: Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong