On Friday night, a well-intentioned but not entirely successful dinner hosted by the Department of International Trade Promotion of the Royal Thai government at the Bree Street Studios in Cape Town. Billed as “Thai Kitchen to South Africa”, the idea was that top local practitioners of Thai cuisine (Chef Pon, Kitima, Yindee’s, Wang Thai) would produce dishes to be paired with carefully selected South African wines, participating cellars being Creation near Hermanus and Nitida in Durbanville.
Problem was both kitchen and waiting staff seemed oblivious to the particular pairings as stated on the menu, and I quickly resorted to getting all six wines in front of me and doing my own mixing and matching. The wines were the Chardonnay 2011, the Pinot Noir 2011 and the Viognier 2011 from Creation and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Coronata Integration, and the Semillon from Nitida.
Both the Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend that is Coronata Integraton 2011 (excellent as a wine in itself) and the Semillon 2011 went well enough with chicken satay and a light peanut curry sauce, nothing could stand up to the heat of the prawn Tom Yum and the Viognier went much better with duck leg slow cooked in coconut milk with yellow curry paste than the suggested Pinot Noir. I did think however that the best accompaniment to Thai remains a Singha beer.