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Thai One On: Sampling the Wine Scene in SE Asia

Thai One On: Sampling the Wine Scene in SE Asia
 

Southeast Asia is not a region globally known for its wine. Yet, that doesn’t mean the people who live there are not just as diehard in their love of the grapey adult beverage. In fact, wine loving in the various countries that represent Southeast Asia has taken on the form of a sort of trendy club, and increasingly, even those on limited budgets can afford to be a member.

Indeed, some say the region is a new wine lover’s paradise. Bangkok, Thailand is one example of a city where wine love is growing in leaps and bounds. Says one Bangkok resident, Raston Sirapatsakmetha, “When it comes to beverages, I am really open-minded but I’ve always been a big fan of wine, both white and red, as they give many flavors and impressions during different stages, and they definitely compliment certain foods.”

If you’re in the region, be sure to check out these notable wine bars:

Thailand

Bangkok – Bar@494 in the Grand Hyatt Erawan is the place where Thai locals go to get their wine fix. This place has 30+ wines by the glass to boast of, and is open noon until midnight most days of the week.

Bangkok – The Wine Loft on Sukhumvit 31 has a wine tasting class with international bordeaux education coming up in early October.

Bangkok – The Blue Elephant crafts its own wines in Europe, specially formulated to compliment the spicy flavours of Thai food. Not only that, but the Thai food is second to none.

Singapore

Divine – This wine bar comes highly recommended, not only for the flying angel that retrieves patrons’ desired wine bottle for them, but also for its tremendous selection of delicious wines, and stylish, funky atmosphere. Be warned, hob-nobbing with the rich and famous wine lovers doesn’t come cheap. Bottles start at $65 USD.

Indonesia

Jakarta – Vin+ Kemang, a cozy wine boutique and lounge that has a strong clientele base, is the first and largest wine boutique in Indonesia, . Vin+ actually has four locations in Jakarta, with one more scheduled to open in Bali this year. The company is also the sole sponsor of two wine clubs in Jakarta.

Bali – Sip wine bar, in Seminyak, is a favourite for great wine in Bali. Says one reviewer: “this is the best spot in Bali to drink wine in the right glass at the right temperature.”

Philippines

Manila – Cav (pronounced “cave) in Taguig city is popular with local Manilites (though some are put off by its high prices). The self-serve wine machine is a unique touch.

Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Sax n Art in District 1 is where locals head to sip a delicious glass of their wine selection, and hear some smooth jazz tunes at this multi-floored, cozy venue.

But wine love isn’t just about consumption, it also includes production. Recently a few Thai wines have won international notoriety for the way they pair with complex Asian foods. As Sommelier Chris Chan notes, “these are fresh, dry wines which naturally fit the flavor profile of multi-course, multi-dish Asian meals.”  And that’s rare.

So if you have the opportunity the Producers of our wine lifestyle TV series Wine Portfolio recommend you sure check out these brands:

Thailand

Monsson Valley is made by the famous Siam Winery which has won several international wards. They specialize in making wines that will pair with spicy Thai food. Monsoon’s whites are especially popular. They’re known for their crisp and delicate flavors wit hints of watermelon and citrus. They are the prefect compliment to a delicious Tom Yum Goong.

Mae Chan Winery in Chiang Rai also produces a good quality, full-bodied Shiraz, which has received critical acclaim.

Thailand’s most successful wine maker is the Chateau de Loei label, which produces an excellent extra dry white wine, Chenin Blanc.

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