New on Wine List Confidential: Som Saa

“Any previous lists or ‘go to’ wines get thrown out the window and you need to really work from the heart and what excites you. Austere and delicate wines tend to get rattled by the acidity, spice and heat of Thai food so a good deal of the list has big aromas and generous residual sugar and textures.”

‘Thai food is not renowned for pairing well with wine or drinks generally,’ is how Som Saa’s wine list is unpromisingly introduced. ‘Only thing is, we like wine and we love Thai food! And after a lot of arduous tasting sessions, we’ve come to believe it can be matched brilliantly – it just requires a sense of adventure…’

Som Saa’s co-founder and ‘Fixer’, Tom George intends this list to be “hospitable and great value”. For guests who desire dry, easy drinking wines, he has “some brilliant value selections from classic value regions like Sicily, the Languedoc and South Africa’s Swartland”. However, for those wishing to explore further, George has put together what he describes as one of the more unusual lists in London when thinking towards achieving harmony betwixt fermented grape and exotic dishes such as red curry of cornish grey mullet with young ginger and holy basli, and palm sugar braised pork belly with caramel eggs and phrik nahm pla.

“Any previous lists or ‘go to’ wines get thrown out the window and you need to really work from the heart and what excites you,” he says. “Austere and delicate wines tend to get rattled by the acidity, spice and heat of Thai food so a good deal of the list has big aromas and generous residual sugar and textures.”

George dedicateds a page to Riesling “in a diverse range of styles – from archetypal J.J. Prüm Kabinett to a natural, unfiltered, skin contact version from the Eden Valley Australia”.

Reds, says George, also needed careful selection. ‘Refreshing or lighter reds like Refosco and Pinot Noir tend to be the order of the day. We’ve also found that classic red Lambrusco is a wonderful match with Thai food.’ That Lambrusco, like all bins, is accorded a tantalising tasting note – ‘an aromatic explosion of wild raspberies, wet forest, cherries, resin and balsamic.

George also furtively maintains a reserve list.

“For those who really get their kicks from wine and spend their weeks thinking about what they’re going to buy and drink next, our off menu list is always changing including bits and pieces from auctions. It’s not a secret per se – it’s for friends, regulars, ourselves, and any guests we meet who is truly into it. But anyone can ask to see what we’ve got. All the wines have the barest margin. But it’s what keeps us excited and allows us to taste some fantastic bottles. Domaine Foreau, Clos Naudin Vouvray 2011 was a particular favourite from auction. Some of Keller’s single vineyard wines have made appearance and are truly astonishing, and we have three different vintages of Peter Lauer’s remarkable Sekt – 1988, 1991 and 1992. Each vintage has its own personality but they are undoubtedly as fine as vintage Champagne and sublime to drink with our menu.”

Wine also makes its way onto the cocktail list, should you order the Schuster Cobbler (Riesling, creme de peche, Fino, lime and guanabana juice)…


Wine List Confidential, brought to you by the drinks business, is the first platform to rank London’s restaurants on the strength of their wine list alone, providing a comprehensive guide to the best restaurants in the capital for wine lovers.

Restaurants are graded on a 100-point scale based on five criteria: size, value, service, range and originality. For a full guide to London’s best wine lists visit

the drinks business published the inaugural 2017 Wine List Confidential: One to Sixty-One guide last year. We are currently working on a new 2018 edition and are busy re-reviewing top-scoring restaurants and adding new entries to the database. Check back later in the year for final scoring and position of restaurants. 

One Response to “New on Wine List Confidential: Som Saa”

  1. The Geordie Wine Guide says:

    I have been to som saa a few times and can confirm the person who wrote that winelist is a genius! So refreshing to see classic and iconic wines alongside humble, funky and natural wines, all perfectly suited to thai food.

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