Thai wine and spicy Asian cuisine

July 8, 2013

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‘2012 Colombard’ by Monsoon Valley

Many white wines go well with Asian cuisine, for instance my beloved Riesling, either in its dry or semi-dry incarnations.

Fortunately, Thailand has his own wines which do pair well with its cuisine. Chenin Blanc and Viognier wines from Gran Monte Winery, as well as Chenin Blanc from PB Valley come to mind.

One of my least favourite grapes, Colombard can also make a good wine to drink with spicy Asian food. Monsoon Valley Wine produces a Colombard wine (Classic Range) which I find ideal with spicy cuisine.

The grapes are produced near Hua Hin, a coastal town about 3 hours south of Bangkok. I personally have not visited the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard as yet but it is on my to-do list.

This Colombard wine is a blend made from Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Malaga Blanc grapes. It is light and fruity with some citrus aromas and fine acidity but has some residual sweetness which makes is well suited to accompany spicy dishes.

The 2012 vintage has won various bronze medals for instance at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2012, and the FBAT Wine Challenge in 2012.

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Spicy prawn noodles


Fine dining in Bangkok: Patara Restaurant revisited

March 15, 2012

My favourite Thai restaurant in Bangkok is Patara in Thonglor which offers exceptional fine Thai cuisine of greatest quality.

I have written about the place a few times, but it is always a very special occasion when the four of us, I mean my family, are heading to Patara for a family experience.

In 2009 Patara was awarded the title: the Best Restaurant in Thailand. We have taken some of our closest friends there to share this experience.

The interior of Patara restaurant

The other day, a Sunday, it was time again to patronize the place, and indulge in fine Thai cuisine. And look what we ordered. The starter platter is just a wonderful assortment of various delicious Thai dishes.

The starter platter

Another starter

Pork wrapped in bamboo leaves

Also the main dishes are fabulous. I love the steamed fish with herbs, but also the omelet Thai style, the greens and the steamed rice in four colours.

The steamed fish

Omelet Thai style

Morning glory greens

Steamed rice in four colours

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few Thai wines on the wine list. New latitude wines from Thailand are some of my favourite wines since I live here in Bangkok.

I choose the ‘2010 Colombard’ from Monsoon Valley Wines in Hua Hin. The winery has a German wine-maker, Kathrin Puff, who graduated from Geisenheim. I met her at the 3rd International Symposium of Tropical Wine in Chiangmai in November last year.

2010 Colombard from Monsoon Valley Wine

I usually do not like the grape variety. But here in Thailand Colombard makes incredible delicious single varietal wines. It is Monsoon Valley premium range brand.

The 2010 vintage won silver and bronze awards. It has a crisp acidity with complex aromas, and a nice finish. Needless to say the wine goes very well with Asian food. I was glad that I had selected it, and was reminded that I need to stock up on the wine myself.

The back label of the Colombard from Monsoon Valley

Dessert

And another sweet

Of course we had a coffee after the delicious meal and the desserts. Another highlight is that Patara offers to take you home in their Tuktuk, an open air three-wheeler, which is great fun for old and young.

Check it out. It is definitively worth it.

Address:
Patara Bangkok
375 Soi Thonglor 19 Sukhumvit 55,
Klongtonnua Vadhana, Bangkok 10110
Tel.: +66-0-2185 2960-1
Fax.: +66-0-2185 2962
www.patarathailand.com


Thailand: New Latitude Wines – GranMonte Vineyard

March 27, 2009

As you probably know, I am busying myself with finding drinkable Thai wines. My first ventures into the world of Thai wines did not yield promising results. Alas, after some more tastings I was successful.

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Main building, Gran Monte family Vineyard

We visited GranMonte Family Vineyard, a family winery in the Asoke Valley in Khao Yai, about a two hours drive north of Bangkok. This nascent wine business is owned by the family of Vissoth Lohitnavy. His daughter Nikki is the first-ever female oenologist of Thailand. She was recently awarded a Bachelor degree with honours by the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

The GranMonte Family vineyard is a state of the art boutique producer of fine wines. The return of Nikki marks a new chapter in the development of the family business. A new winery has been built and new equipment was bought including stainless steel tanks from Germany.

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During the last couple of years Thailand has become a grape and wine producing country. High taxes on imported wines make sure that the international competition does not destroy the domestic wine industry. However, various awards won by Thai wines at international wine shows are proof that the wine in this tropical land has made good progress.

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The general wisdom was that wine grapes could only be successfully produced between the 30th and 50th latitudes north and south. However, in recent years countries in the tropics and the sub-tropics such as Indonesia (Hatten Wines on Bali Island), Brasil, India and Thailand have shown that this is not true.

New latitude wines, a term coined by local wine writer Frank Norel, is the catchword. Much has been written about “New Latitude Wines” and wine production and I will come back to this topic at a later stage in more detail. The climate allows for two, or even three harvests but some producers forfeit the second (and/or third) vintage altogether and go for low yields.

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As regards the varieties it seems that Chenin Blanc and Colombard of the white, and Syrah/Shiraz of the red varieties grow well at least at GranMonte family vineyard. The total area under vines is about 40 acres, 25 of which are planted with red and 10 with white grapes.

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State of the art trellis systems, spacing and row management

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Mr. Vissoth, the owner, explaining the vineyards to his visitors

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Modern stainless steel cellar equipment

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Freshly fermented grape juice

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The tasting room of Gran Monte

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Another view of the Gran Monte tasting room

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The vineyard owner, Mr. Visooth Lohitnavy, in the tasting room

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The “normal” product range

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The award winners

I recommend to buy the award winners. They are the best wines. I particularly like the unfiltered Syrah, a great drop, smooth in the mouth, with plenty of fruit and a wonderful explosive finish.

So if you should visit Thailand in the near future, please plan a trip tpo Khao Yai and GranMonte Vineyard. The family of Mr. Vissoth is very enthusiastic and will make you feel very welcome. Below you’ll find the address and a map.

Address:
Granmonte Co,Ltd.

17 / 8 Soi Sukhumvit 6, Sukhumvit Road,
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110

Tel : 0-2653-1522 Fax : 02-653-1977
Mb. : 08-9169-7766
Marketing@granmonte.com

Address at Khao Yai

Granmonte Vineyard & Wines
52 Moo 9 Phayayen, Pakchong,
Nakornrachasima, Thailand
Tel : 036-227-334-5

Map
map-granmonteweb