Memorial day fare usually involves burgers, hot dogs, brats… but for me, I like doing things a little differently. To kick off our Memorial Day, I hosted another monthly Wine & Dine event highlighting Thai cuisine, paired with Viognier wines.
As usual, it was a fabulous turnout. Having Thai dishes grace the table offered our palates some interesting flavors to play with the wines I selected for the tasting. It also encouraged friends to create recipes of a cuisine they may not have necessarily tried on their own.
For the wines, Viognier is not exactly a common varietal. In fact, it’s one that can be difficult to find and because of the type of harvesting involved, it can also be a little pricey. I like thinking of Viognier as Chardonnay’s “sister”. They both look alike in the glass but the aromas and tastes can vary greatly. If you’re interested in trying Viognier wines, I highly recommend that you purchase an early vintage… preferably one within the last 3 years. This is the type of grape you want to drink early and slightly chilled. It pairs exceptionally well with spicy asian cuisine such as Thai.
Another thing to note is that New and Old world wines of this varietal will be very different. New World (California, South Africa, Australia, Chile, etc) will be darker in color and have more tropical, fruitier aromas and tastes. Old World (France, Italy, etc) will be lighter in color and have more floral, earthy aromas and tastes. For me, I prefer the California Viogniers… a good one to try is the Christine Andrew Viognier. We tried a 2005 and it was smooth, slightly dry and a short finish.
So enough of my wine geek talk, here are pictures of our Thai inspired dinner:
Green Curry Tofu w/Brown Rice and Pad Thai
Tropical Fruit & Shrimp Salad and Bamboo Shoots w/Egg
Mango Roll & Mocha Roll and Quinoa w/Mango & Cilantro
Fresh Mango & Pineapple and Spicy Pork w/Carrots
Thai Fried Rice and Green Curry Chicken
Banana Eggrolls and Spicy Chicken & Beef Fried Rice
Thai Green salad and Thai Spring Rolls