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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Beautiful Reds from the Pfalz at Weinsinnig, Trier

January 13, 2013

The other day (actually it was about a month ago during my last visit in Trier, Mosel), I had some fabulous reds at “Weinsinnig”, my favourite wine bar in Trier.

Both wines come from the Pfalz (Palatinate) wine region in Germany. Markus Schneider Estate is located in Ellerstadt, and Rings Estate in Freinsheim. Both estates are led by young and innovative vintners and wine-makers.

W sinnig Black Prince

2010 Black Print by Schneider

I have written about the wines of Markus Schneider before. ‘Schneider Ursprung’ is a wonderful cuveé (blend) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Portugieser.

The ‘2010 Black Print’ is a blend of St. Laurent, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Mitos and Cabernet Dorsa (hold your breath). The last two grape varieties are new crossings (hybrids) produced in Germany.

The wine was matured in small oak barrels. It has an almost black colour, as the name suggests. The fruit aromas are very concentrated, some plum and cassis but also blackberry. The tannins are already soft enough and well balanced. This is a yummy wine at a very reasonable price (around 12 Euro/bottle). But you have to be quick to pick up the remaining bottles.

Markus Schneider is not only very innovative as the composition of his blends are concerned but also the labelling of his wines is new and against German traditions. The Wine Guy has done a portrait of the winery which might be of interest to you.

W sinnig Rings

2011 Das kleine Kreuz by Rings Estate

Also the second wine I tasted at Weinsinnig was a red cuveé from the Pfalz. The ‘2011 Das kleine Kreuz’ by Rings Estate is a blend of Merlot, St. Laurent, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The brothers Andreas and Steffen Rings appeared 2007 on the German wine scene. That was the year that the Gault & Millau wine guide included the winery for the first time. Last year the brothers won the German red wine award.

This wine is just wonderful, awesome, fabulous. The density of the fruit, the well balanced acidity, the soft tannins and the long finish are all very striking. I could not believe it, my vintners soul cried more, more, more.

If we only could have these wines in Bangkok.

Address:
WEINSINNIG
Weinbar & Verkauf
Palaststraße 12
54290 Trier
Tel.: +49-651-979 01 56
info@weinsinnig.com
www.weinsinnig.com

Weingut Markus Schneider
Am Hohen Weg 1
67158 Ellerstadt
Tel.: +49(0)6237 – 7288
Fax: +49(0)6237 – 977230
info@black-print.net

Weingut Rings
Duerkheimer Hohl 21
67251 Freisenheim
Te.: +49-6353-2231
info@weingut-rings.de
http://www.weingut-rings.de
www.black-print.net


To blog or not to blog?

December 23, 2012

Mosel Bullay

Mosel in mid December near Bullay (shot taken from the train)

Is the retirement of the Man from Mosel River imminent?

Every December I ponder the very same question. Shall I continue this blog or not?

You might have noticed that I am struggling this year. The last three months were particularly painful. My day job is sucking up all my energies. I have been feeling drained and empty for a while. One could say that I am Gulliverized by my professional responsibilities, which have grown over the years and weigh more heavily on me now that I am getting older.

My stats show this too. I have been sliding a little, and continue to slide a little every month.

I started this blog in January 2007 and have posted a couple of hundred entries. At the end of this month I have six years of blogging under my belt. They say ‘people do not read blogs any more’; these days people are on Twitter and Facebook instead.

So why waste so much energy and time?

When I scroll though older posts I also notice that I am repeating myself. I eat the same food, visit the same places, and tend to drink (if possible) my favourite wines. Am I spent?

Not quite, I think.

Let me tell you what happened to me last weekend in my home town Trier. I had only about 43 hours available. I arrived late the first evening and was much too tired to do anything.

Saturday night, after a family meal, we watched some slides and family photos, before I could go on a stroll and check out the Christmas market. I also intended to have a glass of wine. My favourite wine bar, ‘Weinsinnig’ was my destination.

The place was crowded and I only found a table at the back. That table, however, was reserved and I was asked to swap with a place right across the “wine list”, a wall with about 20 or so wine bottles in metal holders and a description of the wine and the producer. I will tell you another time which wines I sampled that night.

When I went up to that wall with my phone to document what I had tasted (two reds) and returned to my table, a woman approached me and asked: “Are you the Man from Mosel River”? You cannot image how flabbergasted I was. How could she know?

It turned out the the woman was Manuela Schewe, the owner and initiator of ‘Weinsinnig’. She had seen my last post about the wine bar. After the introduction, we had a good chat about wine, wine bars, the vagaries of life and so on.

Well, and when I was leaving I thought that I should think it over again before giving up my blog and retiring the Man from Mosel River.


My favourite wine bar in Trier: Weinsinnig

November 20, 2012

Selecting the wine

If you want to imagine me happy, imagine me in “Weinsinnig”, my favourite wine bar in Trier, Mosel.

Manuela Schewe and her team are doing a great job. I just love, that the wine bar is also a kind of cellar door for quite a few wineries. Most of them do have a cellar door of their own. However, with Weinsinnig they have a cellar door right in the middle of town.

I love this concept.

Among the wine producers you can find: Winery

Bender
Deutschherrenhof
Heymann-Löwenstein
Jakoby Pur
Lauer
Markus Molitor
Maximin Grünhaus
Nick Köwerich
Pauly
Philipp Kettern
Stephan Steinmetz
Van Volxem
Von Hövel and
von Othegraven

The selection of these, mostly local, wineries guarantees to the wine lover that he or she can choose from a broad range of different wine styles, varieties, terroir and even wine regions.

So far I was not able to try all of them as yet, but believe me I am working on it whenever I visit my lovely Trier. Stay tuned.

Cheers

Address:
WEINSINNIG
Weinbar & Verkauf
Palaststraße 12
54290 Trier
Tel.: +49-651-979 01 56
info@weinsinnig.com


Mosel Riesling: Versuchungen (temptations)

August 21, 2012

What a beautiful Riesling: Versuchungen = temptations

The wine is made by Andreas Bender, a contrarian of the German wine scene, of Weingut Bender. It is a semi-dry Riesling, usually not a wine style I very much like. But it perfectly machted the spicy Asian soup we had it with. Lovely buquet, fine acidity and a sweetness which was round and compassionate, like a kiss.

The wine is named in allusion to two quotes by Oscar Wilde, who must have said that “I can resist everything, except temptation” and “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it”.

I yielded to it as well. It was modestly priced at Euro 7.50 when I bought it at Weinsinnig, one of my preferred wine barS in My home town Trier.

Versuchungen and the spicy Asian soup

I have not made up my mind about this wine. I need to taste some of the dry wines Andreas Bender produces before I can come to a conclusion. But for the many off-dry wine lovers, this wine is a true temptation.


“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


SIP – My favourite wine bar in Bangkok

June 21, 2012

SIP Wine Bar and Tasting

Since a long time I want to write about my favourite “watering hole” in Bangkok. It is a small and unassuming place in Soi Ekamai, just a couple of meters from my office. I pass by there every day when walking to and from work.

It’s name is SIP Wine Bar and Tasting. Victor, the owner and manager is a great guy, passionate about wines and extremely knowledgeable. SIP offers value for money. So it is no wonder that tripadvisor gives it 4 1/2 stars out of five.

No space to hide

The other day when we were dropping in for a quite evening sip, we found ourselves in a large group of customers. The place was choker blocker full because the Bangkok Wine Club and about 30 of it’s members had flocked to SIP for their monthly get together.

Our wine

We met some interesting people and had some interesting conversations. The ‘2011 Yellowwood Tree Pinotage’ from the Western Cape in South Africa was a medium bodied wine with nice fruit aromas, a wine for easy drinking.

Victor has a good collection of wines from all over the world. Moreover, given the fact that wine prices in Thailand are astronomical (among other because of the high taxes), SIP offers value for money. You will not regret it. I suggest you check it out yourself.

Address:
SIP Wine Bar and Tasting
33/32 Sukhumvit Soi 63 Ekamai
Klongton-nua, Wattana,
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel.: +66-27142223
Mobile: +66-816998748
e-mail: victor2sipwinebar.com
www.sipwinebar.com