Put out the fire

 – Tips from LaMaii’s Bank Atcharawan on rieslings that temper spicy Thai food

Bank Atcharawan is known for his expertise on rieslings, whose fruitiness complement Thai dishes. Photo by K.M. Cannon
Bank Atcharawan is known for his expertise on rieslings, whose fruitiness complement Thai dishes. Photo by K.M. Cannon

For those in the know, Chinatown’s hot new restaurant Lamaii is about more than just great Thai cuisine. It also boasts a serious wine collection for a restaurant of its size. The 60-seat dining room already features about 150 labels, although owner Bank Atcharawan is hoping to double that.

“That’s my first passion, and I can’t stay away,” says the former sommelier of Lotus of Siam, and ex-partner of Chada Thai and Chada Street.

Atcharawan is known as one of the city’s great riesling enthusiasts and experts. His current collection boasts 22 of those selections, and he’s hoping to bring that up to 50 very soon.

“It’s best with Thai food,” he explains of his affinity for the varietal. “Just the sweetness and the fruitiness, with the spice, they just complement each other.”

Given his devotion to the grape and its products, we asked the expert to recommend rieslings for three occasions.

With very spicy food: “Something like a Spätlese, which is a kind of late harvest riesling. So it has a really high acid and high-intense fruitiness.” His favorite producer is Dönnhoff, and he recommends its Oberhäuser or Niederhäuser.

For a special occasion: “My favorite producer, but its extremely difficult to get and is expensive, is called Egon Müller. Scharzhofberger is the vineyard.” Options include Spätlese or Auslese.

Great anytime: “I would recommend a QbA, which is an estate wine, from a good producer,” such as Dönnhoff.

Constructed in 1906, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery’s mill was once home to the Minden Flour Milling Company.
The Napa Valley Wine Train offers a variety of excursions, including a new murder-mystery dinner ride. Photo by David H. Collier
The sisters also created a pair of pink sweats with a satin bow as part of their new clothing line.
After a two-year absence, Smith & Wollensky opened on the Strip and still features drinks with generous hand-pours. Photo by KeyLimePhotography
Bank Atcharawan is known for his expertise on rieslings, whose fruitiness complement Thai dishes. Photo by K.M. Cannon
UnStripped
UNCORKED PICNIC
David Perrico’s Pop Strings Orchestra provided the evening’s entertainment.
Former Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett, center, chats with attendees and shakes hands with Dave Melroy during the Raiders Foundation’s second “Celebrity Swing” at TopGolf.
American artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner created the sonic kinetic sculpture “Gamelatron Perhiasan Emas di Awn Hitam” or “Golden Jewels in a Black Cloud” for the new John Hardy store at The Forum Shops. Photo by Aaron Taylor Kuffner
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
SIPS