Thai food and wine sound like a perfect pair. However, both have too many varieties to know which one should go with the other. With these six best wines to drink with Thai food, you can enjoy your meal in no time.
Thai Food and Wine Overview
Thai cuisine is home to various delicious foods. Like any cuisine, every Thai dish’s flavors, textures, and tastes will differ. Don’t worry! We curated many Thai food favorites along with the best wines to drink with them.
Whether it be with sweet or tangy Thai food, there is a perfect wine pair for it. As the country’s dishes are as diverse as everywhere else, we compiled these six wines to choose from. Ranging from reds and whites, you can have a more varied selection to go along with your food.
Best Wines to Drink with Thai Food
|Type of Wine||Flavor Notes||Best Paired With|
· High Acidity
· Slight Zest
|· Thai Curry
· Tom Kha Gai
|Pinot Noir||· Mild Acidity
|· Kaeng Lueang
· Pad Kra Pao Moo
· Tod Mun Pla
|Cabernet Franc||· Bold Tannins
· High Acidity
· Slight Zesty
|· Pad Siew
· Massaman Chicken Curry
· Pad Thai
· High Alcohol
|· Khao Niao Mamuang
· Poh Pia Tod
· Mah Hor
|Gewurztraminer||· High Acidity
· Bold yet Dry Texture
|· Som Tum
· Yum Nua
· Pla Nueng Manow
· Thai Curry
· Very Fruity and Zesty
|· Sai Oua
· Banana Roti
· Pla Nueng Manow
The high acidity of Riesling gives any Thai curry a burst of zesty flavor. As a dry white wine, it’s a great way to cleanse your palate.
A delicious plate of flavorful Thai Curry is an excellent pair with Riesling. With the different herbs and spices in the dish, a bolder or sweeter wine can have difficulty cutting through the spicy taste. Fortunately, this is not a problem with Riesling.
Tom Kha Gai is a creamy and full of spices chicken dish from Northern Thailand. The food is bursting with a wide range of herbs and a tinge of hotness with the chili. The zesty lemon notes of Riesling will go perfectly with it.
The dry texture of Riesling can cut through the tanginess and flavor-packed Thai dishes. It’s the perfect wine for any intense and full of spices dish.
2. Pinot Noir
Red wine pairing is relatively uncommon, with spicy and very savory dishes. Many view the bold and robust flavors from the tannins to be too much for the food. However, Pinot Noir is here to provide an excellent wine pairing for your Thai food.
Mild curry such as Kaeng Lueang or Yellow Thai Curry is an excellent pair with Pinot Noir. Unlike the red and green curry, this one has subtler flavors that can mix well with the earthy and acidic taste of Pinot Noir.
The other is Pad Kra Pao Moo, a popular sizzling plate dish. It’s made with minced pork and mild spices such as basil. The fruitiness and high acidity of Pinot Noir are excellent for the earthy flavor of the herbs and spices.
Tod Mun Pla is another excellent appetizer to go along with Pinot Noir. This Thai fish cake dish is primarily light with seasonings. Although it comes with a spicy dipping sauce, you can easily control the amount you will put in your
This red wine is generally best for meaty and mildly seasoned dishes. It provides a nice balance between acidity and tannins with a nice kick of fruitiness.
3. Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc is another red wine variety that will work great with Thai dishes. Although not as acidic as Pinot Noir, it still works with subtler flavors of Thai cuisine.
Pad Siew is an excellent option. This stir-fry noodles with various ingredients such as eggs, onions, vegetables, and meat. Although it has many textures and flavors, they are all relatively mild.
The wine’s slight zestiness and high acidity will help mellow out the flavors. Cabernet Franc is also aromatic as a red wine, making it perfect for mildly flavored yet potent dishes.
Massaman Chicken Curry might seem too much for the Cabernet Franc to handle. However, it’s much milder than the other variation of Thai curry. It also has a bit of sweetness and very earthy flavors that can go along well with the wine.
It’s best to choose meaty yet lightly herbaceous Thai dishes to go along with Cabernet Franc. The acidity keeps the fat and grease from overpowering your palate. This wine is also great as a palate cleanser you can take between bites.
Rose’s sweet and fruity taste is perfect for Thai desserts and vegetable dishes. It also has a nice tinge of acidity to cut through creamy dishes.
Khao Niao Mamuang contains mango and sticky rice that the sweet nature of the Rose can elevate. As the mango provides a sour bite in the food, having a fruity and slightly acidic companion to it will be great.
If you are not looking for dessert pairs, Rose is perfect for mildly seasoned meat and vegetable dishes. Take Poh Pia Tod or Thai Spring Rolls as an example. It has meat and vegetables but goes light with spices and herbs.
Gewurztraminer is the ultimate best option if you want a spicy food pairing. Since Thai cuisine is booming with various herbs and spices (especially chili), having a dry white wine on the side is perfect.
As a white wine, Gewurztraminer provides a zesty yet not overly sweet taste. Thai favorites such as curry, Som Tum, and Yum Nua are excellent food to go along with it.
With this wine, you can choose from a wider variety of Thai dishes. It can be an excellent pair for Gewurztraminer, whether savory curries or herbaceous stir-fry noodles.
Along with a very cutting acidity, Gewurztraminer is a very dry wine. It can balance out the hotness of the spices.
It’s also highly aromatic, the perfect pair for Thai cuisine as they tend to be earthy and full of herbs. The fruitiness yet low sugar of the wine provides an excellent way to cleanse your palate.
Sancerre wine is a highly aromatic and fruity white wine. It’s a perfect pair for very meaty and sweet dishes.
Sai Oua is a Northern Thai Dish very common in the market. It’s a long sausage present in the community. It has intense flavors from aromatics such as lemongrass.
Sancerre is a perfect accompaniment to meaty dishes, as it can provide acidity and earthy flavors. As Sai Oua is lightly seasoned, adding an intense aroma and taste through Sancerre can be a great way to elevate your meal.
Another use for this wine is for sweet desserts. Although it’s highly aromatic and fruity, Sancerre is surprisingly low in residual sugar. A sweet Banana roti or some Khao Niao Mamuang is an excellent addition to your wine.
How to Know the Best Wine for Your Thai Food?
Although these six varieties of wine are enough to find the perfect wine for your Thai food, opening yourself up to more options can be an excellent way to enjoy your meal. Here are some ways to find the best wine for your Thai food.
Find the Best Acidity
Thai cuisine is ripe with herbs, spices, and, most importantly—meat. The most popular food in Thai restaurants features a slew of meat, vegetables, and sauces. If you are looking for a wine to match your meaty or savory food, finding a bottle with higher acidity will help.
For this type of food, something with a dry texture and medium-bodied wine will excellently help. Although most go with the typical red wine for meat, dry white wines are also an option.
Keep in Mind the Spiciness
Spicy chili is a significant part of Thai cuisine. This factor is essential in their famous curry and peppery dishes. Most Thai restaurants also offer spicy dishes, which are a very prominent part of the culture.
Finding wine for spicy food can be pretty tricky. The overpowering nature of curry, chili, and pepper can quickly win over your wine.
However, finding a wine with good acidity and aromatic nature is an excellent option. It can balance out the hotness and savory nature of spicy Thai dishes.
Low Tannin and Slight Sweetness
Tannin is a natural part of any wine. It’s very prominent across many red and white wine varieties. However, it can cause bitterness when added to the food.
It also causes the wine to have very overpowering bold flavor notes. This can easily distract you from the beautiful flavors of Thai cuisine. Sticking to lower amounts of tannins can help eliminate this risk.
You can stick to classic white wines to ensure lightness in tannins. However, some red wines can also be an option.
These six best wines to drink with Thai food are guaranteed to improve your meal. There is a wine perfect for these Thai dishes, whether for some curry, stir-fry, or fried rice.