Pad Thai, Spring Rolls and Wine

Pad Thai and deep fried spring rolls are two of my favourites from the Asian cuisine. This past weekend, the bf and I had a couple friends over for dinner and regardless of what else I serve, I like to always have spring rolls out as appies. Not to brag or anything, but my spring rolls are mmm mmm good!

spring rolls

My spring rolls!

One day, when I measure the ingredients, I’ll post my recipe here. My Pad Thai is sometimes delish and sometimes just okay. It was the latter this past weekend, in my opinion.

Pad Thai and Spring Rolls Wine Pairing

Let’s think about what Pad Thai and spring rolls are like. They’re both greasy! And what pairs well with greasy food? A wine high in acidity. People automatically think of having a Gerwurtztraminer or Riesling.

Gerwurtztraminer

Had this Gerwurtztraminer with my Pad Thai a few months ago and it was good!

These are great options especially if the Pad Thai is spicy. The sweetness of these wines coats your mouth from the heat.

Certainly, the above-mentioned work, but you know what I think is an even better pairing for Pad Thai? Sauvignon Blanc. That’s what we had, plus a bottle of Riesling. Did you notice that when you order Pad Thai, a lemon or lime wedge is almost always included? Sauvignon Blanc has a citrusyness to it that obviously complements Pad Thai well. It was great with the spring rolls, too.

Watermelon and Sauvignon Blanc

What wasn’t so great was when after dinner I had some watermelon, then a sip of Sauv Blanc and all I could taste was lemon in my mouth. Although it wasn’t the most pleasant surprise, it was a good reminder that what you drink with your food can make or break the experience.

It just occurred to me then that Sauv Blanc may go well with pho. Mmm, gonna have to try that! Have you paired pho with Sauv Blanc? Ha! Have you had pho with wine? Let me know what successful and/or failed pairings you’ve had in the comments below.

Summer Reds

Having had the day off yesterday to celebrate Canada Day, for a moment, I thought it was Monday. Time is just going by way too quickly! But I’m happy it’s summer. I’m totally enjoying the sunny hot weather, going bicycling with the bf and of course, enjoying a cold bevy. Sometimes it’s beer. Sometimes it’s a mixed drink. Sometimes it’s wine.

When it comes to wine, though, sometimes a white, rose or sparkling is not what I’m in the mood for. A red in the summer, @VinoVanny? Yeah, sometimes I feel like a red on the patio.

So, what reds do I like for summer on the patio?

Pinot Noir/Red Burgundy

I love Pinot Noir. Red fruit like strawberry and raspberrry, low to medium body, lighter tannins, maybe some earthiness. Enough umph to slowly savour the flavour, but light enough so as not to coat your mouth and make you want to reach for water. Perfect with BBQ chicken.

pinot noir inniskillin

Vibrant red fruit on the nose, medium tannins, light to med body easy to drink pinot noir. Satisfying finish too. Have you ever taken in the smell of wood chips? That’s what I detect in this. Would pair well with olives, lightly seasoned fish.

Burgundy is a region in France. The red grapes grown there are predominantly Pinot Noir. Indeed, when someone says Red Burgundy, you know they are referring to a Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region in France.

Louis-Latour-Bourgougne

Red Burgundy aka Pinot Noir from France’s Burgundy region. Exposed mostly to new world Pinot Noir, the bf said it doesn’t smell like the other Pinot Noirs. He did smell the typical red fruit though.  I think it could well with tomato sauce pasta, too especially on a summer evening.

The main difference between new world and old world is the earthiness. You can see through the glass, as you can see. That’s how light tasting it is, too!

Gamay/Beaujoulais

Ahhh, Pinot Noir’s ugly sister. That’s how people describe Gamay anyway. Gamay is light body, fruity, not complex, ready to enjoy young and oh-so-easy to drink. Sounds more like the fun sister to me! The truth is, though, Gamay is the love child of Pinot Noir and a white varietal Gouais.

Gamay

This Gamay was purchased on my wine adventure in BC’s Similkameen: light body, low tannins, med high acidity, short finish. Strawberries galore.

Gamay is the grape in France’s Beaujoulais. Both are fresh, fruity (red fruit) and best consumed young. Because Gamay/Beaujoulais aren’t as complex as Pinot Noir/Red Burgundy, I like to enjoy the former without food. But I can see it tasting good with some fresh strawberries out on the deck. Meat wise, it would have to be something that is not heavily spiced or sauced, something light like white fish.

There you have it: my preferred summer reds. Do you enjoy a glass of red out on the patio? Would love to know which ones and why. Even a specific bottle, I’d love to know. Please share in the comments or tweet me @VinoVanny.

Sushi and Wine

I went to a party a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t a sit down party or anything, so guests were free to grab whatever they pleased from the spread. There was sushi. And I was drinking a red Okanagan blend. So was the bf. He said, hmm, the wine doesn’t go very well with sushi. I agreed. The red wine was fine with the Jamaican patty, pizza and pretty much everything else on the table but the sushi.

wine pairing easy

From LocalWineEvents.com’s Facebook page.

So, here goes my first post on food and wine pairing. I had sushi for dinner two nights ago, a spur of the moment thing and since it seems like we have 50 bottles right now, I figure I’ll pull out a white. Turns out we only had two whites. I wasn’t sure which to have: The Pouilly-Fuisse or the Viognier from Washington state?

new world vs old world

Viognier from Washington state or Pouilly-Fuisse?

With sushi, there’s so much in the mix to consider: the sushi type, wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, seaweed, and the vinegar on the rice. I had salmon avocado roll, tuna roll, dynamite roll and yam tempura roll.

What I decided to go with…

I went with the Viognier. Fruity and aromatic. I seemed safe. The Pouilly-Fuisse, a Chardonnay, I expected to have more umph in the mouth to because of the oak and thought that would drown the delicacy of the raw salmon and tuna.

The conclusion…

The Viognier wasn’t great, with the raw fish. It was just okay with the dynamite and yam rolls and was tasty on it own, but when paired with the fish, there was a flabbiness to it. Ok, it was a horrible pairing. I honestly didn’t know what flabby wine was like until I had those two together. So I stopped drinking the wine with the sushi, finished the sushi, then drank the wine on its own. I was able to enjoy them both, separately. I don’t know if the Pouilly-Fuisse would’ve been that much better.

What could’ve worked…

What would’ve gone well with the raw fish? Well, I had Sekt before and that was good. Champagne (or alternatively Cava or Cremant) are known to complement sushi well. The reason is the high acidity cuts through the fish oils and also has high enough acidity so that the acidity from the vinegar doesn’t overpower the wine. That’s what the Viognier was lacking to make this a good pairing: the acidity level. I’m learning. Hope you are too.

Spanish sparkling wine

Given that I had Sekt and sushi together and enjoyed it, I think Cava would’ve paired nicely too.

Do a Google search for what goes well with sushi and you’ll have different suggestions. Try them all and see what works well for you. That’s what I plan on doing! And I’ll share my findings with you, good and bad. Apparently Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir from the east-central part of France), I quickly caught a glimpse somewhere on the internet during my quick research, goes well. As does Beaujoulais. I’ll definitely try one day. I would love to know, aside from sake which wines have you tried with sushi (with raw fish) that worked out well?