Food and Wine Pairing

Thai Chicken and Metamorfosis Muscat & Tămâioasă

Old city of Bucharest, Romania, Europe. wide view.At the end of February, people were talking about spring all over Bucharest. Indeed, a sunny Sunday afternoon came by, which was a good reason for a walk past the ancient buildings of the capital city. A lunch and a tranquil chat in one of the downtown pubs were the obvious continuation.

The wine list did not seem the main focus of that vividly decorated pub. Instead, the list of Romanian wines was well-balanced from a quality-ratio perspective, while there were few international wines. As for me, I had to choose a wine by the glass, as my friend had to drive back to her home city.

Thai chicken was my choice food-wise. Hmm, hot, spicy, powerful flavours… Chilly heat would obviously clash with any tannic wine. Highly alcoholic wines would also raise problems, as alcohol would add to the chilly heat to create burning sensations. Low tannic reds or white wines were the logical choices. A fruity rose wouldn’t have gone amiss. Another important aspect is that the intense flavours of the dish called for an intensely aromatic wine, so that food should not overpower the wine.

Of course, my mind was flying far away, to the Mosel Valley, where the aromatic Rieslings with their low level of alcohol would have brought the answer to my wine pairing issue. The slight sweetness of an off-dry Kabinett Riesling would have coped even better with the hot Thai spices. What about an Argentinean Torrontes or a Greek Moschofilero?

Coming back to that very sunny Sunday afternoon, I only let my mind fly for 100 kilometres away from Bucharest to Dealu Mare and my eyes slipped back to the wine list. Finding a white wine based on one or more aromatic grape varieties was not as hard a task. Vitis Metamorfosis shortly came up with its Muscat Ottonel & Tămâioasă Românească.

The result was a good match for my Thai chicken, although a wine with a bit less alcohol would have given more roundness to the pairing. However, the wine’s only 12.5% alcohol is a decent level in a hot region such as Dealu Mare.

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