Wine bars in Bangkok – Water Library Thonglor

February 28, 2013

Water Library

Virtual visit only

You might know by now that Bangkok is the capital of Asian gourmets. Thai’s are obsessed with food, they hunt for the best bargains, and constantly photograph what they were eating. Social media sites in Thailand are cluttered with pictures of dishes right before consumption. These pictures are shared with friends and family, so that everybody knows about the best food in town.

Also the wine bar scene is very lively. You can find all kinds of wine bars, at the lower price end or the high-luxury one.

The latest craze in Thonglor where I used to live, seems to be the Water Library, a wine bar cum restaurant with excellent reviews. I admit that I have not been there in person as yet. I visited “virtually”, meaning I looked at their website.

Tripadvisor rated the Water Library as 46 out of 6,862 restaurants in Bangkok, which is very impressive. Water Library has received six reviews, all rate the place as excellent.

I studied the wine list which has 19 pages in a pdf-format. The list is impressive too. Largely, it seems to be about “point-drinking”. Mr. Parker must be very happy about this. Very few wines on the list do not show the Parker rating. Prices are considerable, and I admit, way above my budget.

A ‘2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spaetlese’ by Joh. Jos. Pruem, a wine from my beloved Mosel, is an excellent drop, but 2,800 Bath or Euro 72,- is a bit much for me (the 2011 vintage sells for 19,40 in Germany).

But what I take really issue with is the fact that not a single Thai wine has made it’s way onto the list of Water Library. As an advocate of new latitude wines, I think that every place with a bit of a reputation should include some of the excellent wines produced in Thailand, on Thai soil, and by Thai vintners.

Nonetheless, I will check out the place and report back to you.

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“Weinsinnig” – wine bar in Trier

August 4, 2012

One of my favourite wine bars in my home town Trier is “Weinsinnig”, located right in the center of town.

The name of the bar is a kind of word play on “Wahnsinnig” (in English “mad” or “crazy”), and composed of two parts, a nomen, “Wahn” or “mania” (in English) and an adjective “sinnig” which can be translated as “plausible”, “make sense”, “evident”, “sensible” or “witted”. In the combination with “Wein”/”wine” it becomes something new, a compound with a new meaning which could be translated as “in the mood to enjoy wine”, “wine is sensible” or “crazy for wine”.

Weinsinnig is also a kind of cellar door for wineries from the Mosel. Moreover, it offers selected culinary delights, for instance “Flammkuchen”, a tarte flambe. And last but not least, Weinsinnig offers various activities related to wine and the people making it.

In front of the ‘walk along wine list’

It was a rainy summer’s evening when we visited and therefore we sat inside. Weinsinnig offers also a couple of chairs and tables outside. One sits on the pavement on a narrow street. Fortunately, warm blankets are on offer.

My choice: a dry Riesling from the Ruwer

I love their selection of local wines, many of them produced by young and innovative vintners. I chose a ‘2011 Maximin Gruenhaeuser dry Riesling’ by one of the top producers from the Ruwer valley, von Schubert’sche Gutsverwaltung. I also bought some more of this wine and will only say that this is a Riesling to die for.

2011 Maximin Gruenhaeuser dry Riesling

Inside

By the way TripAdvisor rated it 4 of 5 on 16 Jun 2012 and ranked Weinsinnig as 69 out of 182 restaurants in Trier. In my view Weinsinnig belongs to the “must visit” category in Trier. Check it out.

Address:
Weinsinnig
Palaststraße 12
54290 Trier, Germany
Tel.: +49-651 9790156


Restaurant review: Taverna Cestia, Rome, Italy

August 25, 2010

While working at FAO and living in Rome at the end of the 1980ies, our main restaurant was Taverna Cestia, near Piramide, just a couple of blocks from the United Nations. We went often and all the waiters knew us very well. Usually that meant that we did not have to look at the menu (they knew what we liked to eat), and if we stayed longer than the opening hours permitted, we were somehow accommodated (usually the offering of burning ‘Sambuca’ signaled that it was time to go home).

So it was clear that when in Rome, we would go and eat there. And that’s what we did during our summer vacation 2010 as well. It was a very hot day. We had shown our daughters the Terme di Caracalla. We were thirsty and needed refreshment. ‘Melon with prosciutto’ and ‘bruschetta di pomodori’ are just the right stuff to start a meal.

Ham and melon

Tomatoes on grilled bread

Olives in a coat

Taverna Cestia is famous for it’s ‘spaghetti alle vongole’, but I always liked also the ‘penne al arrabiata’.

Penne al ragu

Spaghetti alle vongole

In the past we always ordered a liter of house wine, usually a white wine in summer (a refreshing Frascati) and a red one in winter. Also this time we had a bottle of this divine liquid. We did not regret our choice.

Frascati wine by Casalgentile

The back label of the Frascati by Casalgentile

That the food at Taverna Cestia is very good is proven by the next picture. Tripadvisor awards four out of five stars.

Address:
Taverna Cestia Di Salvi Gioacchino C.
Viale della Piramide Cestia, 67
00153 Roma, Italia
Tel.: +39-6-5743754
Subway: Piramide