Phuket Lifestyle – monsoon season is here

PHUKET: While Thailand is internationally recognized for its cuisine, it is not generally famous for its fine wines, but Monsoon Valley wines are trying to change that preconception.

At a Monsoon Valley wine dinner held at the Ruen Thai restaurant in the Dusit Thani, Laguna Phuket on December 1, German winemaker Kathrin Puff presented the best award winning wines from the Hua Hin Hills vineyard.

She was also here to compete in the triathlon, and jokingly claimed to be getting her electrolytes from her daily tipple.

The wines had been expertly matched with fusion Thai food to enhance the flavors of both.

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The sumptuous meal designed by Executive Chef Silvano Amolini started off with Tiger prawns topped with a ginger flavored mango-chili salsa. The wine chosen was a Monsoon Valley Colombard 2011. The wine was dry with citrus notes and a good match with the plump prawns.

Next on the menu was delicious pan-roasted Tasmanian salmon sashimi with a Hoi sin sauce sabayon. This was paired with a Monsoon Valley white shiraz that resemble a rose in color, but not in taste. There were no tannins present which made for a crisp acidic partner to the fabulous salmon.

A Shiraz 2010 was served up with sliced magret of duck served with sesame crusted potatoes and tangy vegetable salad drizzled with a Mekong enhanced straw mushroom sauce – divine.

The special bottle of the night was next with a rare 2008 Cuvée de Siam Rouge. This wine won a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge in Vienna, Austria and was the only bottle of the evening that used an old fashioned cork.

The wine was vinified in 500-liter oak barrels and this is apparent in the complex taste.

To fully bring out the flavors our chef produced a marinated lamb chop served with a red curry sauce, chick peas and couscous.

For those who love sweet dessert wines the 20% Monsoon Valley Muscat 2010 takes some beating and seemed very popular with Thai diners.

This wine was paired with a lemon grass parfait with rose apple compote and a sorbet made from the same wine.

Dubbed “new latitude wines” these daring wines may yet prove to be a challenge to both old and new world wines and do go rather well with Thai cuisine.

— Marc Mulloy

Thai Life

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