Mr. Spittoon and I spent a year living in Bang Saen, Thailand. Which is probably why I looove my Thai food and I find wine matching very interesting with the various range of Thai dishes you can get. When Anja from Canny Grapes invited me along to the ‘Aromatics & Thai Wine Dinner’ at Itsara in Nedlands – I simply couldn’t say no.
Firstly, let’s take a look at a few wine matching tips for Thai food. From papaya salad to tom yum soup and a massaman curry with sticky rice – here are some wine matching tips to make your next Thai meal even more delicious.
Thai Food & Wine Matching Tips:
- Aromatic wines are the most obvious pairings (think Riesling, Gewurtz, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc)
- Try to go for wines which are lower than 12% alcohol, as high-alcohol wines can clash with Thai spices
- Wines with a lick of sweetness will help balance out spicy heat in the food (if you’re not a fan of sweet wines, go for an off-dry style)
Firstly, what an absolutely gorgeous venue. It was a long-table style dinner which was set up in the inside garden part of the restaurant – so beautiful! It actually reminded me of some of the outdoor dining experiences we had in Thailand, like at Cabbages & Condoms in Bangkok.
The restaurant is named after their chef, Itsara, who is from Thailand and he is also a co-owner. They grow many of their own herbs and vegetables and source everything else as local and as fresh as possible. All their pastes and sauces are made from scratch so you can be sure you’re getting the real deal.
For those gluten-free peeps, you’ll be happy to know that the majority of the menu is GF too!
For those Perth BYO restaurant lovers, you’ll also be happy to known Itsara is BYO Sunday to Wednesday and there’s a $10 corkage cost. However, their new wine list (which we got to sample some of at the dinner) is pretty delicious!
For more information, make sure to check out the Itsara website and follow these guys on social media.
Itsara Wine Dinners
I am saying ‘dinners’ rather than ‘dinner’ as I am pretty sure there are going to be more! This first one went off with a bang. The food was amazing and Anja from Canny Grapes did an awesome job matching the dishes with a great range of wines and being our host for the evening. Not only did we enjoy a 5-course dinner and 8 wines but Anja also gave us a bit of wine education throughout the night.
All the dishes were set out in a share-style which is your typical traditional Thai style of eating – ordering a whole lot of food and everyone digs in. It also got everyone talking and interacting which I found really fun. I had some great convos with the lovely people I was sitting around – we all had a great night!
Okay, enough of me blabbling, here’s how the night went…
To start: Freshly Shucked Coffin Bay Oysters with a mouth-watering thai-style dressing on. These were matched with a glass of Champagne Veuve Fournay Blanc de Blancs (read my tasting note here). The only issue is that I needed more than 1 of those oysters!
Entrees: Next up we were served 3 different entree’s to match our two wines; the Fairbrossen Harvest Verdelho from the Perth Hills and the Pierro Blanc de Blancs from Margaret River (a blend of Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier ) which was an insanely good match for all 3 entree’s:
- Prawn, pomelo, roasted coconut with lime on betel leaf (they grow betel at the restaurant)
- Local blue swimmer crab and Spanish mackerel Thai souffle
- Spiced prawn and pork wrapped in an egg-net lattices with a rice wine vinaigrette
That egg-net prawn and pork entree was amazing, so darn tasty and the betel leaf came in a close second for me.
Mains: To match the mains we sipped on La Violetta’s Ye-Ye Grisé (blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling) and John Kosovich’s 2010 Aged Chenin Blanc – again another gorgeous match to the dishes we had. Alongside the Journey Wines Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley and Purple Hands Old Vine Grenache from the Barossa Valley.
- Exmouth king prawns, scallops and asparagus
- Steamed wild caught barramundi with lime and chilli
- Succulent char-grilled angus beef in a velvet creamy curry with potato and cherry tomatoes
- Aromatic slow cooked duck with five spice
Oh my, those scallops and that aged Chenin Blanc – divine! As was that delicious duck and the Barossa Valley Grenache!
Dessert: What a way to end a spectacular night! We sipped on Mt Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling while savouring an absolutely delicious ginger and kaffir lime infused creme brulee. Yum!
I would say from all the positive feedback on the night that another wine dinner will be in the works – so stay tuned to the Itsara and Canny Grapes social media channels for updates. In the meantime, head on over to Itsara to experience their divine food and some of the above wines which are now all on the menu.