And a Good Time Was Had by All?   3 comments

Like the all-afternoon aftertaste of one of those dirty-water hot dogs you get back home on the streets of New York, my first wine experience on this trip to Bangkok kept repeating on me.  

Arriving by 20 minute cab ride at SIP Wine Bar last Sunday I discovered that they were, um, closed.  Not permanently, mind you, simply a delayed opening.  It’s a shame, I had been looking forward to going to this place since I read about it in the NY Times.  I could have sat outside waiting for the place to open.  But there didn’t seem to be much sense in that as there didn’t seem to be that much to do in the immediate vicinity.  And, seriously, I was not that desperate for a glass of wine.  Also, since I had made plans to meet up with a good friend and colleague who was flying in from Australia later that evening, I decided to simply return to the hotel.  “STRIKE ONE!”

Having now provided my cabbie with a chuckle at my expense, he attempted to be helpful.  On route, he tried to dump me off at one of those large tourist bars I hate.  Kind of like a charmed-starved Applebee’s, but without the charm.  (BTW, who the hell is Applebee and why would he do this to his family name?)

Um, no thanks, Mr. Cabbie.  Nearing the hotel we spotted another wine bar, with a promising name, Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant.  Ahhhhh, Bacchus.  Roman god of wine.  Inspiration for Bacchanalian Festivals.  What could be so bad?  OK, maybe that whole human sacrifice thing and getting torn to shreds by Roman chicks in a wine inspired frenzy may not be everyone’s idea of a good time.  But, I’m thinking of the pleasures of the heterosexual version of the Bacchanalia. 

So shall we give the place a whirl?  Grab a glass, perhaps two, some nibbles, make some conversation with whoever is there and get back to Home Base, to catch up with me mate.  Although Bacchus’ ample wine list contained some of my favorites, those had to be purchased by the bottle.  Now, drinking an entire bottle is something that I have, on occasion, been known to do.  However, that typically happens at home when there is food and company.  Or at least food…  And, frankly, there is something odd and vaguely creepy about ordering a bottle to drink by oneself in a deserted bar. 

So I thought I would at least try the wines by the glass which Bacchus offered– two reds, and only two reds.  And in a new twist on vin marketing, Bacchus offered a terrific deal on these two wines by the glass.  Wines that– how shall I say this?–

SUCK. 

But what a deal, buy one sucky glass of wine and get another sucky one for… wait for it… FREE!  Suggestion to Bacchus– a  wine bar should offer decent wines by the glass.  And more than just two choices would have been a bonus.  All together now: “STRIKE TWO!”

Bottom of the ninth inning and I am down to my last strike.  You have to protect the plate in these circumstances. 

To cut to the quick, I ended up in the Exec Lounge at my hotel, The Conrad Bangkok.  It’s not looking so well, is it? 

The Conrad is a nice Hotel with well-trained staff.  And if you’re fortunate enough to be placed on an Exec floor, you gain access to the lounge.  It was there that I deboarded the Local Train to the Wine Underworld.  Perhaps anything would have tasted good to me at that point.  But, maybe, just maybe, I found a little gem worth exploring. 

Père Anselme La Reserve de l’Aube Vin de Pays d’Oc Syrah-Merlot 2010.  What a nice little surprise.   Opening with a promise of spice.  Done in a more international style, but still maintaining an identity of self, this is a self-assured wine that whispers, “I may have humble beginnings, but I am an overachiever.”  Rated **1/2

My petit wine pilgrimage had paid off and it turns out that Bacchus allowed me to have the delectable SIP I was looking for after all even though I found it in the last place I would have looked for it.  And so I give thanks to the god of wine, as they say in Thailand, “khob-kun-Krab.”

So it ended up being a good night– just not this good:

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Posted April 28, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love, Wine Etiquette

3 responses to “And a Good Time Was Had by All?

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  1. ดูดที่กำหนดโดยกฎหมาย Murphy ‘s

  2. Murphy’s Law Sucks!
    It’ a futility thing, from Bacchus to Sisyphus.

    • Appropriate reference to Sisyphus. It did actually feel that way at one point when that rock kept rolling down the hill. In the end, I got what I was looking for, just not in the place I was looking for it. Ahh, the magic of travel.

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