Pairing wine with food is probably one of the most vexing issues that consumers face when deciding what to drink. Unless it is steak, people often worry about pairing the wrong wine with their meal. Red wine with meat and white wine with fish are popularly held parings. However, this steadfast rule often falls apart; Chardonnay can complement pork and Pinot Noir often goes well with tuna. When the food selections starts to get complex, the perfect wine becomes less clear. Thai food often has a plethora of flavors that seem to present problems when planning what to pour. Jalapeno, coconut, cilantro, peanuts, shrimp and fish sauce were all ingredients in a tasty Thai curry that we made. A variety of different wines could be able to complement all of those flavors. A good choice when eating Asian cuisine (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc.) is one of the aromatic Germanic varietals: Riesling or Gewürztraminer. The high acidity and moderate residual sugar that these wines are often made with balance the sweetness and spiciness of these foods.
The best pairing advice, however, is to drink what you like. If you happen to like a big brooding Cabernet Sauvignon with a salad and a biting Sauvignon Blanc with barbecue beef, then by all means go for it. Don't ever let anyone tell you that what you enjoy drinking is the wrong thing to drink. There are some classic pairings, but if they aren't your cup tea don't sweat it. The best pairing is matching your palate to the wines and food rather than simply matching the wine to the food.
2009 Guy Drew Vineyards Gewürztraminer, Colorado
In a slightly unusual twist, this Gewürztraminer soaked on its skins for two days. While it is common for Gewürztraminers to see more skin contact than any other white wines, most winemakers only allow 4-24 hours before pressing. This skin contact allows for extracting the typical spicy flavors for which Gewürztraminer is known. This Colorado Gewürztraminer is a pale pink-tinted golden color. The pink tint is so slight that you might think you are seeing things, but I assure you that it is there. This wine is very aromatic with lychees, peaches, pie spices and floral notes emanating from the glass. It is fun to just swirl and smell without even taking a sip. Lemon peel, nutmeg and allspice dominate the palate. The 1.2% sugar is barely noticeable and complements the spiciness nicely. The wine could use a bit more acidity and is a bit woody (probably from the extended skin contact). Overall, this is a nice varietally correct Gewürztraminer that went well with the hot and sweet Thai curry. 13% abv Purchased $16. Good (tasted 12/17/10)