Asian Fusion cuisine has taken off globally but to some it seems nowhere more so than in New Zealand. Take a walk downtown in any Kiwi city and you’ll find a line-up of culinary crossovers with Southeast Asian influences being the clear favourite.
As such, New Zealand’s love of oriental flavours has heralded the arrival of PB Valley Khao Yai – New Zealand’s only award-winning Thai wine, developed specifically to compliment and enhance the flavours of Asian Fusion dishes. The three specially crafted varietals are a Chenin Blanc, Rosé, and Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
Motivated by the idea that making wine could encourage the exchange of cultures and ideas, Thai sommelier Anong Klinyoo founded PB Valley wine distribution A-LLURE.
With cuttings imported from the Cotes Du Rhones, PB Valley produced the first vintage in 1998. Eighteen years on, the vineyard has flourished with their wines winning international acclaim including the 2013 Winners of the Decanter World Wine Awards.
The Khao Yai region, where the grapes are grown, boasts luscious rainforests with humid temperatures and high rates of precipitation. It is this tropical climate that has given PB Valley’s Chenin Blanc, a wine that is already a rarity in New Zealand, a distinctive flavour. On the nose there are tropical fruits, aromatic and complex with banana, citrus and floral aromas dominating. Fruity flavours also feature predominantly in the Rosé and Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon that is crafted from exclusively selected grapes.
The wines, which are currently available at Grasshopper Thai Restaurant in Auckland, are already proven with diners. Bo Manoonpong, owner of Grasshopper, said they wanted to give customers a full authentic Thai experience so they opted to match their dishes with PB Valley wine. “Thai cuisine emphasises strong aromatic flavours with a spicy edge, and the fruity top notes and tropical aromatics of PB Valley wines perfectly compliment the complexity of Thai dishes,” says Manoonpong.
With French grapes grown in central Thailand, and PB Valley Wines being sold in New Zealand, Klinyoo’s vision of an exchange of culture through wine, is fully realised.
This emphasis on cross-cultural flavours means that PB Valley wines can also be paired with traditional western dishes. The Chenin Blanc is best paired with mild to medium dishes, seafood as well as on its own. With its beautiful long-lasting impression, the Shiraz Supremacy accompanies well with game and most red meat dishes. The rosé is best suited to duck dishes or spicy cuisine.
By introducing Thai wine to New Zealand, A-LLURE, the distributor of PB Valley Wines, is hoping to bridge Eastern and Western cultures and further enhance Asian Fusion cuisine.