A good word of warning to anyone about to embark on a Thai food binge: keep a full glass ready. Thai food can get notoriously spicy, and trying to find a brew to extinguish the fire can sometimes be a hellish ordeal. Other than just calming down your palate, both beer and wine can be used to complement the multitude of tastes found in Thai cuisine (the latter much more so than the former). However, to truly have the drink agree with the food, you’ll have to make the right pick.
Good Types of Beer to Pair with Thai food
Beer isn’t the drink that first comes to mind when thinking Thai food, as we’re all accustomed to using it to wash down slices of pizza. Still, many food vendors in Thailand serve beer together with a variety of dishes. It’s cheap and goes along with the food well enough, although it probably won’t do much to calm things down after some of the spicier things on the menu.
When picking your Thai food beer, look for any brew with a lot of yeast in it. These beers’ heavy carbonation will make spices easier to wash off, and the high yeast concentration will bring out both the sweet and salty finishes in whatever Thai dish you’re enjoying.
Brown and pale ales are also a good choice as they won’t override the food’s various flavors. In particular, American pale ale will go along well with any spicy food and will also subdue the residual sweetness that can sometimes be unwelcome, as Thai chefs are known for mixing sour, sweet, bitter and salty. Nothing beats drinking an ice cold beer while staring out the door on a beautiful day and enjoying some Thai food.
Eating Thai Food with wine
There’s much to be said about wine when combining it with any type of food, and Thai dishes are no different. If you’re a lover of red wine, you’re probably going to be disappointed – red wines rarely go hand-in-hand with Thai food, as the strength of the wine usually pronounces the sourness of the food too much. If you’re looking to mix red wine with Thai food, the dishes should either involve fish or some type of heavier meat.
A white grape wine will work best at removing the negative effects of various spices, and can also introduce a welcome aroma of its own. Chilled Riesling is probably the most popular wine to have with Thai food, as it brings various specific ingredients to light with its high acidity, especially when served alongside salad. When picking a type of Riesling for your Thai food, make sure to go especially dry – Washington or New York State Riesling wines with a dry label are a safe choice.
Let’s not forget rosé, either – it’s the perfect blend of white(which is preferred in Thai cuisine) and red(which many people will pick over even the finest Riesling). As is the case with red wines, rosés with a pinot noir touch are the best option if you can get your hands on one. And just like Riesling and any other white wine, your Thai food-complementary rosé should be fully dried-out to avoid adding any sweetness to the meals.