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Editor at large Harvey Steiman joined Wine Spectator in 1983.
Harvey Steiman

An All-Purpose White Perfect with Thai Food

Muller-Catoir Riesling Pfalz Spätlese Haardter Burgergarten 2002

Harvey Steiman
Posted: August 3, 2009

Lotus of Siam, the insider’s favorite Thai restaurant in Las Vegas, has a justly famous wine list brimming with great German wines at great prices. In my experience, off dry and lightly sweet Rieslings make the perfect match with this spicy cuisine, abundant with chile peppers and its own sweetness.

On a stop in Las Vegas en route to Colorado, my wife and I ordered a range of dishes from mild to incendiary. One wine that caught my eye was Muller-Catoir's Riesling Pfalz Spätlese Haardter Burgergarten 2002, on the list at $55. How often can you drink a beautifully aged Riesling for that price in a restaurant?

The wine was gorgeous, soft and creamy in texture, with pear, sweet apple, peach and delicate hints of mayflowers and white pepper. And what a finish! The flavors just kept curling around my tongue. This is what happens when a good Riesling, which can be sharp and tangy when young, gets some time in the bottle. 91 points, non-blind. The label said 9 percent alcohol. We drank the whole thing and hardly felt it.

The wine was perfect for satay, in its mild peanut sauce, for drunken noodles (a flat noodle cake) topped with spicy seafood, and for crispy duck with red curry and basil. It even went well with the mango slices and sticky rice dessert. Talk about an all-purpose wine!

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated German Rieslings, along with our quick list of Top Values among German Riesling.

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