Pad Thai and Wine Nights: How My Favorite Pairing Reminds Me of Better Things Ahead

What food, flavour, or meal excites you? Inspires you? Or makes you feel optimistic for the future?

Allow me to get a bit sentimental for a while over here.

Now that 2017 is upon us, I’m sure I’m not the only one looking back on another year of a life well-lived. I hope you are celebrating the past year. I am. And not just the glorious moments. And the days you’ll happily remember forever. I mean the bad days, too. You survived, right? You got through it hopefully stronger and wiser. You are here now, having just wrapped-up 2016, reading this sentimental blog post about a year well done. You made it! I made it! Congratulations to us all!

But much more than reminiscing, this post is about what’s ahead, really. To not just looking forward, but to moving forward. Towards better things ahead. And I am so optimistic.

Pad thai and wine nights

Beinger Wines Napa Valley - Pad Thai and Wine Nights - Nicole Villaluz

As I am writing this, a delicious-looking dish of pad thai and a glass of Beringer wine are keeping me company. My favorites. And, to tell you honestly, it is because of exactly these two that I am writing this. Why, yes, this article is inspired by a Thai dish and my love for good wine.

I recently just arrived back in Manila after a month-long backpacking trip in Thailand. One month. Just me, my backpack, and my undying sense of exploration. Needless to say, those four weeks have been some of the best of my life. And, needless to say, I am now obsessed with pad thai.

Ever since I got back, I have constantly been craving that delicious Thai fried noodle dish. Oh, the shrimp. The tofu. The herbs. The lime. Gaaah! The heavenly flavours that never cease to bring me back to the wonderful cacophony that is the streets of the land of smiles.

I have been ordering too many pad thai take-outs since I got back. How many, I refuse to say.

It has become a bit of a habit—quiet nights at home with my pad thai, and pouring myself a glass of my favorite Beringer red wine to go along with it. The ruby red color of the wine, the aroma, the rich taste—I am a bit in love with Beringer, to be honest. This Napa Valley originated wine has a quality to it that ignites the senses. The lush flavour and texture of it on the palate complements with both the sweetness and saltiness of the pad thai, and I always feel a little bit more inspired with each sip. It is a match made in flavour heaven.

So what does all this have to do with my earlier ramblings on celebrating a year that was and moving onwards?

What makes me feel optimistic

Beinger Wines Napa Valley - Pad Thai and Wine Nights - Nicole Villaluz

To me, this wine and pad thai combination is not just about the wine and pad thai. It stands for so much more.

I told you—I have an undying sense of exploration. And each time I take a fork-full of those fried noodles and follow it with a sip of Beringer wine, the rhythm of flavours created in my mouth only makes me look forward to all the things I have yet explored.

All the dishes I have yet tasted, all the South East Asian temples I have yet discovered, all the cultures I have yet witnessed, all the strangers I have yet made friends with and, heck, even all the types of wines I have yet tried. Pinot Grigio, Noir, Zinfandel, Muscat, Chardonnay, the list goes on and on. There are so many more varieties of Beringer to try!

When I look towards better things ahead, I see another year full of exciting explorations.

And that fuels me with so much optimism.

So, you see, it’s not just the dish or the wine. Not just the flavour or the taste. It is the feel and the reminder of these things that transcend me—a promise of a better tomorrow. Of always working on improving, on dreams that are always worth going after.

Sealing the feels with a cheers

Beinger Wines Napa Valley - Pad Thai and Wine Nights - Nicole Villaluz

And what is a good meal without a good drink to pair it with?

I love wine. I always have a bottle in stock should any special occasion occur. Or even simply for special moments. Christmases and New Years are on top of the “special days” list, of course, and these events would always call for a fine bottle of red.

There’s something quite celebratory about having wine around, I’m sure many of you would agree, more so if you’re sharing it with people you deeply care about. Friends, family, and significant others. There’s a certain quality in wine that simply elevates an experience; perhaps its the scarlet color, or the first-class clarity of the whites, or just the superior taste of really good wine that says: you deserve to celebrate.

And that’s how I feel when I have my favorite meal pairing—a fine glass of Beringer Wine and delicious pad thai. It always feels like a celebration. Like greatness lies ahead.

And it’s not difficult to feel that way when you’re pairing your favorite dish with quality wine like this.

Beringer Wines, if you aren’t familiar, is one of Napa Valley’s finest. It is California’s longest continually operating winery, established all the way back in 1876. You think only Europe produces the finest wines? Beringer is richly awarded and recognized as one of the region’s most prominent wine producers, and is very well established with American wine drinkers. It is a brand that is always improving, always optimistic, and always moving towards better things ahead.

As any good thing should.

What meal or flavour makes you feel inspired about the future?

Beinger Wines Napa Valley - Pad Thai and Wine Nights - Nicole Villaluz

I’ve talked about the flavours that inspire me. What about yours? What meal, flavour, or ingredients inspire you, excite you, and make you look forward to better things ahead? We’d love to see them.

Beringer Wines wants you to post about the flavour that inspires you! Here’s how you can enter:

  1. Purchase a bottle of Beringer, and don’t forget to keep the receipt!
  2. Take a picture of the flavours that inspire you along with a glass of wine or your Beringer bottle.
  3. Upload your picture on Instagram (make sure your profile is public).
  4. Don’t forget to include the hashtags #BetterBeckons and #BeringerPH.

The most creative post will be chosen as January 2017 ends, with the best post winning a trip for two (2) to Napa Valley, California, USA. A weekly prize will be given away as well, featuring a Beringer pack including Beringer wine and other wine accessories.

Beinger Wines Napa Valley - Pad Thai and Wine Nights - Nicole Villaluz

Are you ready to share the flavours that inspire you of the better things ahead? Visit for more information.

Happy New Year, and cheers—to better things ahead.