Lesser known regions: Thailand

Floating Vineyards

Floating Vineyards

Siam Winery Huahin

Siam Winery Huahin (Photo credit: Californian Em)

Good old Thailand. For some, a spiritual place with the unearthly power of showing people transcendence. A place with such magical beauty that it forces people from around the world to take stock of their lives under the peaceful way of Buddhist life. To others, the country that encapsulates exotic hedonism. A place that is fast becoming known as the party capital of the world with full-moon, half-moon, blue-moon, black-moon… in fact any type of moon party you can imagine decked with all the licentious trimmings; frilly, flowery, bobbley and shiney.

Not, then, the image of a country where the impression of Old World or New World wine would take stock. Its presence might resemble a stuttering King George VI attempting to deflate a Muay Thai wielding bar fight; asking for trouble and bound to get hurt.

But, how would a Thai wine fair? I’m talking about wine actually grown in Thailand including local and foreign grapes alike. Well, it would probably fair a damn sight better than a wet Englishman. Judging by the those sinewy, expressionless people you see walking around a Muay Thai ring, whose only constant appearance implies ‘if you don’t do what I want… right now… I’m going to rip your head off,’ everyone would be drinking it. Like its fighters, a Thai wine would be respected and resolutely supported.

Without the danger of sounding to suggestive in the matter, it is happening. Thailand is growing their own wines and investing a lot of time and research in the process. Like the country as a whole, it is being done differently but brilliantly, with those amazing people adding their own unique twist to the process. One example is the Siam Winery, located in Samut Sakorn in the Chao Praya Delta, Gulf of Thailand, which grow their wines on ‘floating’ vineyards (see picture).

Siam Winery’s Monsoon Valley is also printed in the vintage corresponding to Lord Buddha, who was born 543 years before Christ. Novelties like this have made the Monsson Valley very popular in Thailand but also raised interest from abroad. Certainly, quantity is not a problem and the whole world could import from Thailand because they have two yearly harvests! Awesome, you just have to love the Thais.

Ok, so the quality is definitely not the best. Siam Winery’s Monsoon Valley is not a wine you would drink outside of Thailand. But the point is that they are making wine! Wine is also being turned into a quasi-European sub-culture as food pairing is now becoming fashionable. The key to pairing wine with Thai food is to identify what ingredient is most prominent; coconut milk, chilies, lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, or tamarind. White wines are considered the favourite, as wines with residual sugar, Reislings or Muscats, will tame chilies or spicy dishes. Wines with tropical flavours such as pineapple, mango, peaches, apricots, lemongrass go very well with the dishes with exotic flavours. Another safe bet is rose wine, as its versatile nature can compliment a wide range of Thai dishes.

So, they are growing wine and talking about it. Who would have known…

TIPS: Stay away from tannic and oaky wines when pairing with Thai food.

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About springding

Writer and Sommelier exploring the world and realising that some things are not what they seem...
This entry was posted in Drink, Geography, Sommeleir, Thailand, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Lesser known regions: Thailand

  1. I am heading to Thailand this summer and plan on visiting wineries. I so can’t wait. The photo you posted is mesmerizing…

    • springding says:

      Hi winegetter, Where are you from? Glad your looking forward to it. If you notice on my blog, my company actually specializes in booking wine tours for tourists and travelers so i could do that for you. Just give me your itinerary and i can find the easiest ones for you to visit. Enjoy!

      • I’m so sorry I am only replying to your post now! I’m a native German, but I live in Michigan, USA now. I will look into your travel services more when the trip comes closer. We tend to do things on a whim but will let you know if we are interested in your services. Thank you for offering!!

      • springding says:

        Absolutely no problem. There is no charge and it may just make it easier for you knowing that it is done. Some of these places can be quite hard to contact.

        I’m sure you have some good wines around you then!

        Cheers

      • Thanks again so much! I will be in touch about this. We’re really excited about the prospects!!

  2. Pingback: Lesser Known Regions: China | The Wine Diaries

  3. springding says:

    Reblogged this on Asian ways and commented:

    Looking to get it on the new Wine Advisory facebook page

  4. Pingback: Lesser known wine growing regions: Eastern Europe | The Wine Diaries

  5. Alright, we have one week before we leave for Bangkok. Is there a way to get in touch with you via email?

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