Saturday, 6 June 2009

Thai Wines Part One

Thai wine, not something I ever thought I’d be talking about, but here we are, and to be fair they are extremely good. I got the opportunity to taste the wines from Monsoon Valley at the LIWF this year, which I gave a try, despite some reservations.

The vines are planted in two vineyards; the first a floating vineyard situated in the Chao Phraya Delta, 60km south west of Bangkok, here the vines are planted on islands surrounded by canals. The second vineyard site is located on the Pak Chong Hills 250-300 metres above sea level and is recognised as the countries prime region for growing internationally known grapes. As you’ll see from the picture they also use elephants to help with the harvest, of which there are four apparently. Like most wineries they produce a range for both the on and off trade, which they had brought to show with them.

For the off-trade there is a blended white, made from White Malaga and Colombard, which has a crisp acidity and flavours of apple and citrus. There was also a Rose from White Malaga, Colombard and Shiraz, resulting in flavours of red berries, and finally the blended red in the range, made from Red Pokdum (which is unique to Thailand) and Shiraz that had aromas and flavours of strawberries and red cherries. While these wines were very palatable, they were most definitely nothing special. In fact I may go as far as describing them as dull and uninteresting. If I saw one on the shelf of my local wine merchant, I wouldn’t buy it, so probably for the best that they’re not available in the UK yet.

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