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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

A new wine from Thailand has been launched by Siam Winery, with the hope that it will become the house white and red in every Thai restaurant in the UK. Monsoon Valley is produced on floating' vineyards in the Chao Phraya Delta, north of the Gulf of Thailand, and uses Thai grapes. The white uses 90% Malaga Blanc, which originates from France, and was a gift from Louis XIV to the King of Thailand 300 years ago, and 10% Colombard; while the red comprises 75% Pok Dum (Black Queen'), 20% Shiraz and 5% Black Muscat. Siam Winery's owner, Khun Chalerm Yoovidhya, made his name with the Red Bull energy drink and then SPY wine cooler, a blend of wine, mineral water and Thai herbs. Stephen Loftus, Siam's European marketing and sales director, said: Our wine has to be very light, quite neutral and dry to complement rather than conflict with the spiciness of a Thai dish. The most important thing was to create something unique and different using Thai grapes. One of the things we're trying to do is create a wine culture in Thailand by lobbying the government. At the moment wine is taxed by about 200% and is sold only in certain restaurants; we want to make it accessible to a lot of people.'