People who enjoy Thai food get really excited when they've decided they're about to enjoy Thai food. That's because dishes like Phanaeng, so well balanced, so addicting, are only protected by social graces from a pack of wolves-type situation. And if you're dining solo take-out style, then all bets are off.
The Houston Press investigates this pairing via a takeout order from Morningside Thai:
Thai Phanaeng Curry + Dr. Loosen 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
Rich with coconut milk, while light-footed with notes of kaffir lime and lemongrass, the Phanaeng heat starts off like a warm hug that finishes with a tight squeeze. It's a type of red curry that in combination with the previous flavors is seasoned with shrimp paste, fish sauce and a hint of peanut. Honestly, I'd be happy with just the sauce and some vegetables over rice I realized as I kept dodging thin strips of well-done chicken breast. The boldness of this dish makes you very thirsty, which not many wines can stand up too. But the noble Riesling can and does.
Phanaeng typically costs between $12 and $14, while Dr. Loosen 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese can be found at Houston Wine Merchant at around $32.99. There are a lot of good Thai restaurants in Houston, some of them BYOB, some of them with delivery, which makes this exact combination, one I highly recommend, doable.
The Houston Press is searching for perfect food pairings and where they can be found. We welcome reader suggestions and ask you to send them to [email protected].