2009 Alamos Torrontés, Cafayate, Argentina
• Two Thumbs Way Up
• Smoky aromas of nutmeg with bright lemon, pineapple and chalky mineral notes. It offers flavors of lemon, lime and a light creaminess. Its lively acidity is matched by its playfully spicy character and wonderfully ripe fruit quality.
The mainstream media has not widely reported that I am a well-regarded, international trendsetter. For example, when the Peanut Butter Alliance came to me for sandwich ideas, I told them: “Go with jelly.” You think bacon and eggs was just an accident? Nope, that was me.
So here I go again: Torrontés and Thai food.
Of course, it has that rhythmically alliterate construction that is so important for culinary crazes. This wine-and-food combo also has the added advantage of going exceptionally well together.
At a recent ideas summit, my trendsetter colleague, Eleanore, ordered up a wide variety of Thai foods (pad kee mao, a.k.a. drunken noodles, masaman curry and beef noodle soup). The goal of the meeting was twofold: 1. To test my theory that this crisply acidic wine from Argentina, with its lemon-lime and slightly spicy flavors, would magically match the earthy, piquant cuisine from Thailand. 2. It was dinner time.
To no one’s surprise, my theory was spot on. In addition to the lemon-lime citrus qualities, the Torrontés from Alamos winery had barely a touch of sweetness and creaminess to temper the Thai dishes. It reminded me in some ways of tom kha gai (Thai chicken-coconut milk soup), which—when prepared properly—is simultaneously spicy, sweet and creamy.
Torrontés and Thai food. You heard it here first.
Note: Wines are rated on a scale ranging up from Thumbs Down, One Thumb Mostly Up, One Thumb Up, Two Thumbs Up, Two Thumbs Way Up and Golden Thumb Award. Prices are suggested retail prices as provided by the winery, one of its agents, a local distributor or retailer.