Archive for the ‘Wine Bars’ Category

Wine Republic, Thonglor Soi 10 (Updated) – Bangkok

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Sign Wine RepublicWine Republic’s outdoor terrace

Wine Republic is an interesting place to have a glass of wine or two however, the food is so-so and I would suggest it is better to go elsewhere to dine. They do not have a proper wine list, and customers must go to a display shelf and pick out their own wine, which frankly is a pain, although granted they do have sommeliers to help you make your choice. Bottle pricing is alright, but the only two choices for wine by the glass are a glass of red or white plonk.

UPDATE: I have revisited Wine Republic since the piece above was written and unfortunately, the following is the result:

Usually, I like to keep this blog as positive as I can, although I just can’t overlook blatant inefficiency. Yes, it is true that they now have 8 wines by the glass (6 in a preserving machine and 2 house wines) but how can they put a bottle of wine on the machine without noticing the color, or smelling it to find out if it is “off” or not. I wanted to order a Sauvignon Blanc that they had on offer by the glass, but it was out of stock. I then chose a Chardonnay which when delivered I noticed immediately, even in the low-lighting, that the color was darker than it should be, and one sniff was all it took to find it totally undrinkable. How can the staff in charge of this operation, not inspect the bottle before putting it onto the machine. A preserving machine can only preserve what is put onto it! But even worse, after it was pointed out to the female manager on duty that the bottle was bad she still allowed it to remain on the machine, most likely so that some other sucker who knew less about wines would then innocently drink it. I am certain that this is not the policy of the restaurant, but just the gross inefficiency and deviousness of this particular manager and/or her staff.

Wine Republic 1Wines by the bottle selections are numerous from the shelves above, although by the glass they only have one ordinary white, and one ordinary red. This very limited selection may have been alright thirty years ago, but in 2011!

Wine Republic 2

Wine Republic 3

The Red Apron, Wine & Lifestyle Lounge – Phnom Penh

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Red Apron 3

Red Apron Wine Boutique & Wine Gallery
Monday to Saturday 9am-9pm

NOW OPEN: Wine & Lifestyle Lounge
Monday to Sunday 4pm – Midnight

#15Eo, Street 240,
Phnom Penh
Kingdom of Cambodia
Tel. 855 (0) 23 990
951 855 (0) 17 588 191

The Red Apron wine boutique has been around for sometime now and is well accepted. The new Red Apron upstairs lounge was not yet officially open when we visited, although due to our friend Peter Brongers’s influence, he is CEO of Kingdom Breweries, Cambodia’s premier beer, we were offered some very good vintages. I can see that this will be a fun place to frequent!

Red Apron 1

Red Apron 2

A16 Restaurant, S.F. Natural Wine Week, August 23-29 – San Francisco

Friday, August 20th, 2010


2355 Chestnut St. | 415.771.2216 | Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30pm-10:00pm, Fri 5:30pm-11pm, Sat 5:00pm-11:00pm, Sun 5:00pm-10:00pm | Lunch: Wed-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm

A16 – The cuisine of Campania and the wood fired pizzas of Naples brought to San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood.

SF Natural Wine Week, August 23-29
Ciao amici!

In celebration of Natural Wine Week, A16 Restaurant & Wine Bar will be hosting seven natural wine making leaders each night this coming week, the masters behind these great wines will be
joining us here at A16 as we will be pouring a lineup of their wines by the glass, carafe and bottle. We are honored to be participating in the city wide celebration of sustainable wine making practices and hope that you can join these wonderful wine makers to learn more about their craft and vision. Here is the line up for this coming week.

Monday, August 23 – Palmina Wines with Chrystal & Steve Clifton

Tuesday, August 24- Robert Sinskey Vineyards with Robert & Maria Helm Sinskey

Wednesday, August 25- Bonny Doon Vineyards with Randall Graham

Thursday, August 26- Unti Vineyards Mick and George Unti

Friday, August 27- Whetstone Wine Cellars with Jamey Whetstone

Saturday, August 28- Peay Vineyards with Andy Peay

Sunday, August 29- Brown Estate Vineyards with Deneen Brown & Stefanie Kelly

For more information about SF Natural wine week please see ( )

click here

Alloro Wine Bar & Restaurant, Bandon, Oregon – U.S.A.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
By Sandy Driscoll

Bandon 2
Here we are in Bandon . . . on the beach.  This is the view from our motel room. All images on this post are ©2010 by & Sandy Driscoll

Bandon, Oregon is a charming coastal town located 90 miles north of the California border.   With a population of 3100, they are known for their three world class golf courses, and spectacular rock-laden ocean sunset views.
Last year, I discovered the Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant, where I had a truly memorable meal.   Alloro is owned by Jeremy Buck and Lian Schmidt, both of whom lived and trained in Florence, Italy.   Jeremy is a talented chef who uses fresh local ingredients and Lian is the wine steward.   She is adept at picking just the right wine to go with Chef Buck’s Tuscan-inspired and innovative cuisine.   Everything is very reasonably priced, and there are excellent wines by the glass.  The menu changes seasonally, depending on what is fresh and available.
The restaurant is attractive, with a wine bar, white-clothed tables, and efficient and friendly servers.   Even when crowded, it is quiet enough for a pleasant conversation with dinner.   Everything I ate was memorable, and I enjoyed it so much last year that this year I returned, spending a night at the Bandon Beach Motel, where every room has a spectacular
ocean view. Next year, perhaps I’ll stay in Bandon two nights so I can sample even more.
Crab and Avocado ……  Dungeness Crab, avocado, lime, tomato, scallion
Ceviche…. White fish cured in lime, red onion, mint, avocado, Cascabel chile powder, romaine, Sardinian flatbread

Steelhead Trout (fresh caught) ….. Crispy skin, passion fruit butter, morel mushroom jus (and fresh morels!) asparagus and wild watercress

allora4Pork, Chiles and Chocolate…….Braised pork shoulder, Cascabel chiles, oregano, tomato, chocolate, hazelnuts with

spinach and ricotto dumplings


The special Chocolate and Ice Cream dessert topped with a Bruleed Banana sliver and chopped nuts

allora66Bandon Alaska, Allora’s delicious version of Baked Alaska…….cake, homemade hazelnut ice cream, cranberries (grown & harvested locally), chocolate and sugared mint leaves


Mondo Vino Wine Shop & Cafe – Hua Hin, Thailand

Saturday, April 17th, 2010


Mondo Vino
22/65 Naeb Kachat Road
Hua Hin Sub-district
Hua Hin district
Prachuabkirikhan 77110
Tel.: Retail Shop: 032 531 493
Tel.: Office: 032 511 274-5
Fax.: 032 511 274-5#18

Mondo Vino is an attractive wine shop and cafe offering a wide selection of old and new world wines at very competitive prices, where you can buy bottles to take home or sit down and relax in the pleasant surroundings and enjoy a bottle or glass at the cafe. Mondo Vino proclaims: “We will not sell a wine that we would not drink ourselves, and if we can buy it cheaper, then you will too”. They always have a monthly promotion and a selection of wines selling for less than 500 THB.

Mondo Vino, Hua Hin 5

Mondo Vino, Hua Hin 1

Marugo Wine Bar, Shinjuku – Tokyo

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Marugo Wine Bar, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Marugo Wine Bar, Shinjuku, Tokyo

東京都新宿区新宿3-7-5, Tokyo
Shinjuku 3-7-5. Open 5pm-2am daily.
Phone: 03-3350-4605
Opening Hours:  5pm-2am daily.
Prices: Moderate

It is a very small space so be prepared to squeeze-in and if you choose to do so you can enjoy meeting new acquaintances in a very short period of time. Tapas-style small plates of olives, various canapes, and cheeses are ¥500; duck liver pate is ¥700. There are pasta dishes and pizza and additional main course items available as well. Most of the wines are French selections with a great percentage of them being organic. Of course, the menu is in Japanese, although a few of the staff, when coaxed, speak a little English. They have opened another branch Marugo 2, offering Italian cooking and a wine list weighted more to Italian regional wines as well as French. Tel. 3356-1052.

Garçon de la Vigne – Hiroo, Tokyo

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Garcon de la Vigne, Hiroo, TokyoHiroo 5-7-11, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo
Tel. 3445-6626
Opening Hours: Noon-2pm, 6pm-2am, Closed Sunday
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Inexpensive – Moderate

Garçon de la Vigne is a small French restaurant and Wine Bar with emphasis on the regions of Burgundy including Beaujolais and some selections from the Loire Valley with many choices of “biological” wines (chemical free). There are prix-fixe lunches at very reasonable prices ranging from ¥1200-¥2800. Wine Bottle prices start at ¥4,900. The owner is a sommelier who worked in France in an organic vineyard.  He is very “organic” oriented, even going as far as purchasing only organic produce, that is bought on a contract basis from small growers from the countryside.

Wine Bar Brasserie du Vin – Honolulu

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Brasserie du Vin, Honolulu (photo credit: Brasserie du Vin)

Brasserie du Vin, Honolulu
1115 Bethel St.
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate

A French-style wine bar in the interesting, if not ideally located, Chinatown district of downtown Honolulu. You have the option to choose from a selection of 25 open wines by the glass and taste classic bistro dishes such as frisée aux lardons, escargots, and moules frites (these mussels are from New Zealand and can be quite “tough”). I would avoid any complex cooking here, and stick to wine bar fare such as: charcuterie, cheese, olives with bread and other light selections. For 30% of the bottle cost they will open any bottle from their wine list and pour a 6 oz. glass, which is really not bad as this is approximately 170 grams of wine per glass.

It is definitely a congenial place with an outdoor patio, dining room and bar. It could not be farther removed from Paris in every possible way; albeit you can still see a glimmer.

Bar Bambino, Italian Wine Bar – San Francisco

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Bar Bambino, San Francisco
Italian Wine Bar
2931 16th St. San Francisco 94103
(Between Mission St. & S. Van Ness Ave)
Tel. (415) 701-8466
Opening Hours:
Lunch: Tue-Sat: 11am-5pm; Dinner: Tue-Thu: 5pm-11pm Fri-Sat: 5pm-12am; Sun: 4pm-10pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

You will initially go to this small Italian Wine Bar named Bar Bambino for two reasons: a selection of 40 Italian wines by the glass and the rustic Italian-inspired cooking, that is consistently delivered by Chef Elizabeth Binder who heads up culinary endeavors, be sure to give a try to this kitchen’s version of a soupy rabbit ragu (really more like a stew) with papparadelle ($13.75).  The wine bar is owned by Christopher Losa, who is immensely environmentally aware and has a genuine interest in keeping the place directed towards organic products. Other reasons to visit that may not immediately be apparent, although situated in a run-down block of San Francisco’s Mission District it is a cozy space where people clamor to grab one of the metallic covered tables or a seat at the good-sized bar, in addition, it also boasts a heated-patio, and a salumeria that they squeezed into the already crowded space. Bar Bambino has evolved to become one of the top wine bars in the city.

Ebury Wine Bar – London

Monday, July 27th, 2009

139 Ebury Street, London,
Tel.  0871 3328766
Venue Type: Wine Bar
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00; Sun 18:00-22:30
Underground: Victoria or Sloane Sq.
Cuisine: British
Kitchen Open: Daily 12:00-14:45 & 18:00-22:15
Booking Essential on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Facilities: TV Screens showing sports events
Children: Welcome
Credit Cards: Visa, MC
Prices: Moderate

In the late sixties and early seventies when I spent a good deal of time in London I frequented Ebury Wine Bar while staying with friends who lived around the corner on Chester Row. In those days, they had on offer some very reasonably priced, solid “little” French Burgundies, both red & white, along with a good selection of Loire Valley, Rhône, and Alsace wines available by the glass or bottle. At the time, it was excellent value especially for the wines; and the food was, on the whole, quite good. Today, they have no hope of offering the quality of the wines from France and Italy that they could in those days, and no one expects that, however, they are scouting out a great many “interesting wines” from the old and new world that are quite surprising in their own right. It is because of these elements combined with maintaining the integrity of the kitchen that it has remained to be one of the great wine bars in London for over 40 years.

Information below includes: Name of wine, region, vintage year, country of origin, price by bottle, price by glass, alcohol percentage by volume.

White Wines – House Selection

1. Chevanceau Blanc, Vin de Pays du Cotes de Gascogne, 2005


2. Chenin Blanc, Stormy Cape, 2006


3. Sauvignon Blanc, Reserva, Echeverria, Curico Valley, 2006


4. Pinot Grigio, Della Provincia di Pavia, Cielo, 2005


5. Unoaked Chardonnay, Foundstone, 2006


6. Riesling, Kabinett, Johannisberger Erntebringer, Rheingau, 2004


Red Wines – House Selection

38. Chevanceau Rouge, Vin de Pays de L’Herault, 2005


39. Merlot, Vin de Pays D’oc, La Place, 2005


40. Santa Ines, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004


41. Malbec, Bodegas Terrazas Mendoza, 2004


42. Nero D’Avola, Mandrarossa, 2005


43. Anares Tinto Crianza, Rioja, 2003


44. Shiraz, Tyrrell’s Moore’s Creek, Hunter VAlley, 2004