We weren't in need of its so-called medicinal properties, but the basil, shrimp, flat noodles, soy and hoisin sauce did sound like a good Thai experience. Now, for the right wine. The dry Riesling was out of stock, and the no-oak chardonnay didn't have what it took to stand up to the dish with its bold and complex flavors.
The wine of choice was the 1999 Gewurztraminer by Barmes Buecher, an Alsatian producer known for not stinting on flavor. At its best, wine should act as an accompaniment, a partner on the dance floor. With the dish, this one acted like a condiment, Gewurztraminer as a sauce. It took a fabulous dish up a notch by adding more complexity to an already large set of flavors. Just for fun, order a cola drink with this dish, then take a sip of your Gewurztraminer just to see the difference. Layne Witherell
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