Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thai Wine

My friend and I were wandering around near the University of Arizona campus looking for a good Asian place to eat when we stumbled into Vila Thai restaurant, hidden away upstairs at 972 E. University Blvd. in Main Gate Square right next to the Fat Greek at the entrance to campus. We were tired of Tex-Mex and Sonoran style Mexican food and just looking for a comfortable place to get a light dinner. Vila hit the spot. No Thai-Mex here.

In less than an hour we experienced so many wonderful surprises. First, our excellent English waiter, then Vila herself. Just one degree of separation - Vila is from Seattle! The food was well prepared, tasty and and spicy and reminded me of the many great Thai restaurants in Seattle. We started with the Tom Yum Goong made with lots of straw mushrooms, shrimp, lemongrass and ginger. This was followed by refreshing Papaya Salad. We finished with a beef dish served with brown rice. Vila may well be the best Thai restaurant in Tucson.

The best surprise of all was Thai wine which our waiter gently encouraged us to taste. The 2547 Buddhist Era (2004) Monsoon Valley Red was a blend of "Pokdum", Shiraz, and Black Muscat. It was excellent - rich, dark and complex. The 2548 Buddhist Era ( 2005) Malaga Blanc was amazingly dry and very fruity. It went exceptionally well with the Thai food. Vila told me that she is the only restaurant serving Thai wine. World wine is getting exciting like world music. More than seventy-five countries now are producing wine including many in the Middle East and Central Asia. India is producing wine and there are over 650 wineries producing wine northwest of Beijing. The wines of Eastern Europe are improving including those of Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Poland, and Georgia. This will be the third wave after the Old World and New World waves. Australia, look out!

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