Isn’t it amazing, that tropical countries such as Indonesia (on Bali, for instance Hatten Wines) and Thailand are also producing grapes and grape wines?
Especially Thailand has a nascent wine industry of reasonable size, well protected from too much international competition by high import duties. Does that work, was my question. As a passionate free trader, I doubted it from the outset.
A promising product: Wine from Thailand
Recently, I tasted my first Thai wines. While travelling in the Khao Yai area, I acquired a bottle of ‘2003 Khao Yai Reserve Shiraz’ in a small local shop. The sticker on the front label announces the award of a silver medal by the International Wine Challenge of AWC in Vienna which sounded very impressive.
The Khao Yai winery is located in the PB valley of the cooler highlands about a two hours drive north of Bangkok.
I was really excited while taking the bottle home and looking forward to the tasting experience. The price of 590 Thai Bath was not exactly cheap (13 EURO or 16.5 US$). The tasting, however, was very disappointing. The wine had a beautiful colour and even some “nose” (spicy), but that was is. It was a rather “thin” reddish liquid. The bottle must have gone off, that’s my hope. The judges in Vienna would not have awarded the silver medal if the wine was no good. Unfortunately, this bottle was.
The front label with the Silver
The back label promises an exciting product
The Rose from Chateau de Loei
The second wine, I have tasted is a ‘2005 Chateau de Loei Rose’. I liked the label with the colourful rooster. Chateau de Loei has some retail outlets in Bangkok. I bought it in our local super market (the Villa Market in Thonglor). It was also in the 500 Bath price range. There were more expensive wines from the same company at offer but I hesitated to buy the 1,300 Bath bottle. That turned out to be a big error.
Again I was heading for disappointment. This rose wine was an awful industrial liquid. Not worth mentioning anything about it. I though it would suit the food and the situation of my barbecue (on my weber) on our wonderful terrace.
Well, what’s the conclusion my old mate? I guess I have to try some more Thai wines. Next time starting at the top price end, even if it hurts my purse, might please my palate more than my first approach.