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Bubbles And Spice And Everything Nice

Clean cold bubblies, particularly a Blanc de Noirs, make excellent combo with tasty Thai cuisine. L. Kerhaw tries them out

Keep your fancy Bordeaux and expensive Cabs away from Thai food because the predominant flavours of Thai food – sweet, sour, hot and salty – are all horrible for big, tannic wines. Spice, chilli heat and acidity will make tannic wine taste bitter, ruining the experience of both the food and the wine. To complement the elements in Thai food, the accompanying wine must have a good level of acidity to support the acid in the food and a little residual sugar to offset the dish’s spiciness. Champagne contains good levels of acidity and a small amount of sugar, making it a great match with Thai food that usually has a strong acidic element, especially its salads or sour curries which are often dominated by lime juice or tamarind. The sweetness in champagne can tame the heat and quench the fire of spicy dishes like red or green curry, allowing one to return for another delicious bite.

Champagne also works well with fried Thai food because the bubbles can cut through the grease and refresh the palate. Slightly off-dry champagne even works well with creamy curry as long as it is not overly spicy. In addition, the acidity in champagnes is good with salty food, so champagnes can pair quite well with salty Thai dishes too.

The thing to keep in mind is the sauce. With a cuisine as flavourful as Thai, the old adage “white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat” does not carry much weight anymore. Consider the main ingredients in the sauces – coconut milk, spicy red or green chillies, lemongrass, garlic and tamarind – when choosing a wine.

To stand up to the kaleidoscopic nuances of Thai cuisine, a bottle of Champagne Devaux can spring forth some surprises! Jim Thompson: A Thai Restaurant and Wine Bar at Dempsey Hill is one of the select establishments in Singapore that carries this champagne. Its bua thod (prawn with curried battered bitter leaves served with sweet chilli sauce) was a marvellous match with a glass of Devaux Grande Réserve NV. The floral perfumes with hints of stone fruits, such as peach, yellow plum and apricot, jumped out of the glass, blending well with the notes from this dish.

Made from 70% Pinot Noir from Côte des Bar and 30% Chardonnay from Côte des Bar, Côte des Blancs and Vitry, the luscious Grande Réserve also had an acidity that measured up to the chilli lime dressing in the sang wa goong (prawn salad with assorted Thai herbs and vegetables served on fresh bitter leaves) as well as in the yam ma-moung (green mango salad with dried shrimp, shallots, cashew nuts and fresh prawn). The spicy tamarind sauce used in its beef roll skewer (neau yang gap nam jeem jeaw) also held up well to the acidity of the wine which had an intense and complex palate yet still delicate for these Thai appetisers. A yellow plum finish brought a satisfying end to the enjoyment.

However, do not just limit the champagne to appetisers because it can carry its weight through the main of gaeng khew wan goong (green curry with Thai eggplant, sweet basil leaves and prawns) with remarkable finesse as well. Spicy, yet with a slight touch of sweetness, the green curry sauce called for a wine to tame the heat. The robust Devaux Blanc de Noirs NV made from 100% Pinot Noir from Côte des Bar rose to the occasion – its subtle sweetness quenched the fire of the chillies while the bubbles cleansed and refreshed the palate. The curry, made more aromatic with the inclusion of basil, paired well with the Blanc de Noirs with its intense and complex nose of plum, roasted apple and tobacco. The round and concentrated wine tasted of dried fruits with aniseed and mentholed nuances. In general, champagnes can cut the richness of coconut milk-based Thai curries and refresh the palate following a highly seasoned dish.

It was also a smooth affair matching this wine with the dessert of khao niow ma moung (yellow mango with sticky rice and sweet, rich coconut milk). As the wine had undergone malolactic fermentation, it has just the right acidity to provide a round finish to mesh beautifully with the creaminess of the coconut milk. Although the fragrant mango added an edge of sweetness, it was still not too sweet as to warrant a demi sec champagne.

All in all, the bubbles, acidity and lightness of the champagnes complement and refresh the palate with richer or spicy dishes yet remain delicate for the light dishes.

From left to right: Prawn with curried battered bitter leaves with sweet chilli sauce, Thai herbal-flavoured cold jelly, and prawn salad with assorted Thai herbs and vegetables with chilli-lime dressing on fresh bitter leaves.

气泡美、香料佳,所有一切都好

葡萄酒(特别是白葡萄酒)冒出洁净的冷气泡,令美味的泰式美食锦上添花,让人欲罢
不能。 L. Kerhaw慕名前来试试

 

请千万别用精酿的波尔多以及昂贵的红葡萄酒来配泰式美食。理由呢?因为泰式美食的主要口味体现在甜、酸、辣和咸等方面,这些元素将极大地破坏富含丹宁的优质葡萄酒的口味。香料、热辣和酸性会使葡萄酒里的丹宁变得苦涩,对食物和酒都具破坏性,影响了品尝佳肴与美酒的体验。为了匹配泰式美食的特色,配餐的葡萄酒必须具有恰当水平的酸度来支持这些带酸的食物,也必须含有少许的糖分来抵消菜的辣味。香槟的酸度适中,含少量的糖分,而泰式美食通常偏酸,因此两者搭配一起享用堪称绝配。对柠檬汁或罗望子酸占主导地位的泰式沙拉和咖喱来说,香槟的搭配作用更加趋于完美。香槟的甜度可以盖住诸如红咖喱或青咖喱等辛辣食物的麻与辣,让食客尝完美味的一口后还能够再来一口。

用香槟配泰式炒菜也非常不错,香槟的泡沫可以削减油脂并恢复味觉的灵敏度。只要奶油咖喱不会太过辛辣,稍微偏干的香槟也能与之很好地搭配。此外,香槟的酸味对咸的食物也有良好的作用,因此香槟与咸的泰式菜肴也可以进行搭配。

酱汁在任何时候都应在脑中占一席之地。像泰式菜肴这样美味的食物,久已流传的谚语“白葡萄酒配白肉和红葡萄酒配红肉”并不太适用。当选择饮用何种葡萄酒时,请考虑酱汁的主要成分——椰奶、红辣椒或青辣椒、香茅、大蒜和罗望子。

应对泰式美食所具有的千变万化的细微差别,DEVAUX香槟却能游刃有余,可以带来一些惊喜!吉姆·汤普森(Jim Thompson):位于登布西山(Dempsey Hill)的泰式餐厅和酒吧是新加坡精选出的出售这种香槟的其中一家。用Devaux Grande Réserve NV配该餐厅推出的bua thod
(苦叶虾配甜辣酱),其效果好得简直令人叫绝!

Devaux Grande Réserve NV香槟带有花香香水和核果(如桃、黄李子和杏)的香味。这些香味从玻璃杯中飘逸而出,与bua thod菜肴散发出的特有风味相当融合。该种美味的Grande Réserve香槟用70 %来自Côte des Bar的黑皮诺(Pinot Noir)和30%来自Côte des Blancs & Vitry Côte des Bar的霞多丽酿制而成,其酸度达到了sang wa goong(摆放在新鲜苦瓜叶上的含多种泰式草药和蔬菜的沙拉虾)中的辣椒酸橙调料的水平,也达到了yam ma-moung(含虾米、葱、腰果和新虾的青芒果沙拉)的程度。使用在牛肉卷串 (neau yang gap nam jeem jeaw)上的辣罗望子酱与该香槟的酸度也相当匹配。 该香槟口感强烈而丰富,但配这些泰式开胃菜时又不缺细腻之感。黄李子的余味为令人满意的一餐画上美好的句号。

然而,不要以为香槟只能配开胃菜。其实,香槟以其非凡的细腻也可与主菜gaeng khew wan goong gaeng khew(青咖喱泰国茄子、甜罗勒叶和虾)搭配,这显示出其在酒类中所具有的份量。青咖喱酱辣中带有淡淡的甜味,需要葡萄酒来辅助盖住其辛辣。全部采用来自Côte des Bar的黑比诺葡萄酿制的醇厚的Devaux Blanc de Noirs NV已跻身于庆祝场合,其微妙的甜味却足以压制住辣椒之火,而其气泡却有清洗味蕾、使味蕾清新的功效。Blanc de Noirs具有浓厚而复杂的李子、烤苹果和烟草的芳香味,含有罗勒的香味更浓的咖喱能与其很好地搭配。这种圆润而浓厚的葡萄酒具有茴香干果味,并微含薄荷脑的味道。总体来说,香槟可以削减以椰奶为主的泰式咖喱的油腻性,在进食完味浓的菜肴后饮上一口香槟也具有重令味蕾清新的作用。

Blanc de Noirs葡萄酒与甜点khao niow ma moung (拌有糯米和浓郁甜椰奶的黄色芒果)也相当搭配。该葡萄酒经过苹果乳酸发酵,其恰到好处的酸度能很好地与椰奶乳脂搭配。虽然芳香的芒果的甜味增添了一些,但还不算太甜,还未达到半干香槟的甜度。

总而言之,香槟的气泡、酸度和柔和对刚吃完更油腻或辛辣菜肴的味蕾具有补充作用,而对清淡的菜肴来说,其鲜味仍能保持完好。

The gold-yellow Grande Réserve is smooth and mellow.

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“A meal without wine is like a day without sun” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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