Sybarite sips and Siam nights… a Bangkok wine adventure

THIS list isn’t about the best of anything, ultimate wine lists, or top somms with finesse and flare.  It’s more.  It’s an introduction to vinous ventures, where personal preferences lead, and playful oenophiles test the limits of taste. 

So, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER, here are a few of my favorite spaces to explore flavors so singular, they daze with delight, or blends that lift memories of time and place to sight. 

Pic: AP.

Wine Cellar

No witty wine geeks on staff, just a dedicated group of ladies ready to pop the tops on a fine selection of interesting wines from around the world.  Not the place to go to be seen on the scene sipping vino.  This is the place to go when you want to sit back and enjoy a rewarding bottle of wine while watching Sukhumvit go by…
Location: Hotel S31, 545 Sukhumvit 31, Klong Toey Nua, Wattana. Tel: 026-621 355. BTS: Prompong.

Café Tartine

Wine isn’t always about what vintage from what vineyard with how many points.  Nope. Sometimes it’s about sipping something that compliments food.  And what food do most equate with wine? Cheese? Well, I do; sometimes, and when I do, Greg and Agathe have just what I need, a generous, delicious cheese board, bottle of food friendly French wine, olives, cornichons and a baguette in an all inclusive deal. There are tasty tarts too!
Location: Soi Ruamrudee at the Athenee Residence, 65 Wireless Road, Lumpini. Tel: 021-685 464. BTS: Pleonchit.

Khun Karn, the gregarious oenophile at Primavera on Thonglor 23. Photo: C.Lawrence

Primavera

What’s on the list isn’t what lures me to Primavera, well I do love the Trelans, rather, it’s what the owner has “discovered” in one of his suppliers cellars and purchased so guests can share the journey.  This off the list selection seldom fails to intrigue. Khun Karn’s enthusiasm and thirst for vinous exploration are sincere.  That’s why I go here.                                                                                          Location: Thonglor Soi 23 Tel: 027-13 9583. BTS: Thonglor.

Scarlett

The new darling of the wine scene, with an uber-cool, modern interior, complete with near perfect night views from the 37th floor, one can forget the wine list, but that would be a pity.  Alexandre Bouvier has put together a selection of wines that I find quite brave for Bangkok and far more intriguing than the glass selection. Bring a bottle buddy
Location: 188 Silom Road, Suriyawongse, Bangrak. Tel: 022-381991. 

Enoteca

Style.  That’s what Italian wine is about. Whether it’s the precise lines of vibrant grace, or bold power of balance and pace, Italy has a wine that will entice with the sublime. Bewildering in its variants, the practiced palate of Nicola Bonazza will guide you through the three hundred-label list that spans the length and breadth of Italy. Perfect food pairings too.
Location: 39 Sukhumvit Soi 27, North Klong Toey, Wattana. Tel: 022-584 386. BTS: Prompong.

All this wine and only so much time. Image: Di Vino

Di Vino

Bringing a whole lot of personality to Penny’s Balcony, Roberto Ferin has created an unpretentious haven for fans of food and, especially, the vine. His wine selection travels everywhere, as he does moving from kitchen to guests sharing a gregarious passion for wine, but focuses on Italy. The list is ever evolving so discoveries are imminent.
Location: Penny’s Balcony, Thong Lo 16, Sukhumvit 55. Tel: Tel: 027-148 723.