I thought I would post a nice article by Chris Macias of the Sacramento Bee about Thai fruit wines. I made these wines so at the same time, its a great shameless self promotion opportunity ;-), enjoy!
Thailand’s on our mind for this week’s Food & Wine section, first with a profile of Tuk Tuk restaurateur Vitoon “Vic” Assavarungnirund.
Now we’re thinking of wine to pair with Thai cuisine – but beyond the classic choice, riesling. (Here’s the formula: Off-dry flavors plus acidity plus crispness equals the perfect foil for spicy Thai food.)
We found Radee fruit wines, which are made in Thailand and imported by Sacramento entrepreneur Makiko Yamashita. The irony: Radee wines aren’t available at local Thai restaurants, except for Thai Basil in Rocklin.
The Radee fruit wines come in three flavors – pineapple, passion fruit and mangosteen – and range from $23 to $32 for a 500ml bottle. They’re poured at eateries that don’t have pad thai on the menu, including Kru, L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen and the tequila bar Azul. Radee wines are also available at Taylor’s Market and Corti Brothers – so why not spots with a Thai flair?
“Thai restaurants are usually concerned about price, and people tend to go to them looking for value,” says Yamashita.
“We’re hoping to get into more Asian places in the near future.”
Yamashita, a native of Kobe, Japan, discovered these wines while on a student exchange in Bangkok, Thailand. Radee means “passion” in Thai, and that sums up how she felt after first tasting them.
“It was so fantastic and I loved the flavor,” says Yamashita. “I’d never tasted anything like it.”
The wines are made by Dominic Rivard, a Canadian native, and made in an ice-wine style. It’s just four months from the time the fruit is picked, frozen and concentrated until it is bottled into wine.
All these Thai wines drink with sweet and pronounced flavors, but with acidity and structure that keeps it all tasting like fermented fruit cocktail. They’re wines for your sweet tooth, to sip with dessert or even pair with some pungent cheeses.
“I think they’re a great combination with Thai food,” says Yamashita. “The passion fruit wine, it’s more like a riesling and can pair with spicy food.”
So pass the mango sticky rice, and maybe someday soon, a glass of Radee at your favorite Thai restaurant, as well.