Any place can serve wine and call itself a wine bar, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. As wine continues to grow in popularity, more and more wine-centric spots are opening all the time, but which are worth visiting? We’ve scoured the city and hand-picked four of our favourites. With great wine lists, good ambiance, and even delicious food, these are Bangkok’s best wine bars.
Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant
Combining the sleek and contemporary vibe of a sophisticated rooftop restaurant with the warm and inviting atmosphere of an urban farmers’ market, Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant manages to defy expectations on every level. Perched on the 37th floor of the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, it’s a wine bar and full-service restaurant with sweeping city views from both the well-appointed, comfortable terrace and the stylish dining room. Boasting an enviable wine list of over 250 old and new world labels, you’ll find a minimum of 15 wines by the glass that rotate on a weekly basis. The wines are uniquely listed by the grape type instead of the region, and this makes it simple for even wine novices to easily select something they’ll enjoy.
The cuisine at Scarlett is spectacular and the Alaskan king crab salad with mango & avocado as well as bone marrow with shallot & black pepper are perfect accompaniments to a chilled white or bold red. Another highlight is the “Live Fire Grill” situated near the entrance, where dry-aged Australian Wagyu beef, along with Kurobuta pork, lamb and Japanese Kobe are all grilled on a wood fire to succulent perfection. They also feature whole butchered lamb, pork, or full sides of beef, so that guests can enjoy irregular cuts of meat not often found in high-end restaurants. With an accessible and extensive wine list, grilled meats to rival any of the city’s top steak houses and breathtaking views of the city, Scarlett Wine Bar is in a class all by itself.
Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant, Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 188 Si Lom, Bangrak, Bangkok; +66 2 352 4000, pullmanbangkokhotelg.com/
Long before trendy wine bars populated every street corner and nearly every shopping center in Bangkok, there was Bar@494 in the Grand Hyatt Erawan. Vibrant and irreverent, they have a timeless reputation as one of the city’s premier venues for unwinding and mingling. Heads and tails above the dark and moody pubs and taverns usually found in hotel basements, 494 is a warm and modern space complete with copper accents, an indoor waterfall garden and a cosy wine-bottle-lined wall that never let you forget the main attraction. Monthly wine socials, and daily after-work free-flow wine promotions ensure there is always a large crowd of expats and local business elites, and the impressive selection of rarified old and new world wines appeals to a more mature crowd of wine aficionados.
A limited menu of tasty bites form both the hotel’s Thai (You & Mee) and Italian (Spasso) restaurants ensures that there’s always something tasty to enjoy with the wine, and the homemade gnocchi with lamb, tomato sauce & Pecorino Abruzzese is a prime example. There is a brilliant synergy between the pillowy, almost cloud-like gnocchi that melts in your mouth and the hearty earthiness of the lamb ragu. Bar@494 remains one for the best places to mix business with pleasure and make new friends while enjoying a variety of world-class wines in comfort and style.
Bar@494, Lower Lobby Level, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rajdamri Road, Lumphini, Bangkok; +66 2 254 1234, bangkok.grand.hyatt.com
Riedel Wine Bar & Cellar
World-renowned Austrian crystal-wine-glass maker Riedel has stepped out of its comfort zone and launched its first high-end wine bar and restaurant in the heart of Bangkok, at Gaysorn Shopping Center. The main attraction at Riedel is the “Wine Emotion” wine dispenser and preservation system, which allows them to have up to 40 red and white wines available by the glass. The wine dispenser doubles as a functional piece of equipment as well as avant-garde artwork. It dominates an entire wall near the front of the dining room and ensures that each glass of wine is served at the perfect temperature. The staff ensures that each wine is served in the appropriate wine glass to optimize your pleasure and highlight the individual bouquet, taste, balance and finish of the wines selected. Only the best Riedel crystal is used, and they have six wine glasses to choose from. Size always matters at Riedel and when ordering wine by the glass you can choose your pouring size with either a 30ml tasting glass, a 75ml half glass or a 150ml full glass.
The focus at Riedel is firmly on the wine, but they do have a full kitchen which offers a selection of Mediterranean tapas for sharing, pastas, and entrées, as well as cheese and charcuterie. The wine goes well with the New Zealand lamb chops which are cooked to perfection, and smoked trout with carrot purée, olives & tomatoes. The trout is stunning, with crispy skin and translucent flesh in the center. Riedel Wine Bar & Cellar offers something for everyone, whether you’re a wine novice or a connoisseur.
Riedel Wine Bar & Cellar, 2/F, Gaysorn, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., Bangkok; +66 02 656 1133, facebook.com/Riedelwinebarbkk
About Eatery is staking their claim and positioning themselves as Bangkok’s first “natural” wine bar. The venue is rustic and warm with exposed brick walls, iron works, wooden crates and, of course, wine-lined walls with chalkboards announcing daily specials. Both the wines and spirits served here are made by independent artisanal producers, and the wines on offer are categorized as natural, organic or biodynamic. They even go on to distinguish the characteristics of each wine with an in-house system of symbols denoting if the wine is sustainable, how it was aged, if natural yeast is used and if it is suitable for vegans or vegetarians. One intriguing wine on the list is Mount Edward Clockwork 2014 from New Zealand. This is an orange wine, an ancient type of vino that is steadily regaining popularity.
The Mediterranean-style cuisine is focused on seasonal and organic ingredients and they offer plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Popular dishes include their smoked eggplant with garlic, feta & mint — smoky and light — and the elegant grilled octopus with vegetables and a balsamic reduction.
About Eatery, G/F, Ocean Tower II, Sukhumvit 21 Soi 3, Klongtoey Nua, Bangkok; +66 2 665 2772, abouteatery.com