Pennsylvania is packed with marvelous BYOB restaurants. Next time you choose Thai, be sure to grab a bottle of Pennsylvania wine. We’ve gone ahead and paired some of Thai cuisine’s most iconic dishes with locally-grown varietals.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce paired with Sparkling Cayuga
Start your meal off with a Southeast Asian classic — skewers of grilled chicken served with sweet, savory, salty peanut sauce. This dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, whether you’re eating with foodies or toddlers. To wake up the tastebuds and provide balance to the rich nuttiness of the sauce, crack a bottle of sparkling Cayuga White. Aromatic and balanced, this white wine is bright, fresh, and fruity.
Som Tom paired with Off-Dry Riesling
This traditional salad is a flavor bomb that epitomizes Thai cuisine’s obsession with balancing four essential flavors: sweet, salty, spicy, and sour. While most of the country’s beloved dishes feature at least two of those elements, this combination of shredded green papaya, palm sugar, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, chilis, and peanuts showcases all four. Pairing a wine with such a powerful dish can be tricky, but go for something with a bit of residual sweetness — it should give your tastebuds a rest from the heat. Off-dry Riesling is a great choice, as its high acidity can stand up to the punchy salad.
Shrimp Pad Thai paired with Albariño
When done right, a stir-fried noodle dish is pure bliss: chewy noodles, dynamic textures, and that kiss of “wok char” from cooking over high heat. Enter pad thai, a combination of rice noodles, bean sprouts, green onion, soy, and tamarind (a fruit known for its unique sour flavor). Your favorite Thai BYOB might put their own spin on the classic, but there’s almost certain to be a sprinkling of crunchy chopped peanuts on top. Shrimp is a popular addition, as it adds salinity and a bit of sweetness. Albariño, a dry white originally from northern Spain, is an exciting compliment. Austere and versatile, this white will allow the subtleties of the dish to shine.
Penang Curry (or Tom Ka) paired with Dry Rosé
A signature ingredient in Thai food is coconut milk, whether it’s used in a fragrant curry or a soup like Tom Ka Gai (flavored with chicken, lime, lemongrass, fish sauce, ginger, and makrut lime leaves). The rich liquid from the inside of the coconut has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor and, in a cuisine laden with salty, citrus, and spicy notes, it’s a key foil. So whether you’re ordering a Penang curry (red curry boosted aromatics and shrimp paste) or a bowl of soup, reach for something crisp and refreshing like a Pennsylvania dry rosé to balance out the heaviness.
Pad Kra Pao (Chopped Chicken Stir Fry with Thai basil) paired with Pinot Noir
This dish is all about the herbaceous pop of Thai basil, barely wilted and balancing the sweet and heat of the stir fry. Most iterations of this classic feature dark soy and/or oyster sauce, lending a deep earthiness to the meat. Play off both the bright herbal notes and that earthy undertone with a bottle of Pennsylvania Pinot Noir. This light red will make the harmonious flavors sing.
Mango and Sticky Rice paired with Gewürztraminer
Ripe mango doesn’t need much, but a bit of sweetened sticky rice doesn’t hurt. The popular Thai dessert is a showcase for textures: silky fruit against chewy rice. Mango is a common tasting note for Gewürztraminer, an aromatic showstopper with complex fruit flavors and a tart pop. Crack a bottle of this white wine and close out your meal with a conversation starter.