Riedel Wine Bar & Cellar
The Austrian wine glass maker's swanky wine-by-the-glass bar in Gaysorn.
The buzz: Riedel, Austrian maker of crystal wine glasses far too expensive for most us to need know about, has licensed its name to this new wine bar in Gaysorn equipped with a state-of-the-art wine dispenser which allows for up to 40 open bottles to be stored without oxidizing. The result is a huge list of wines to try by the glass rather than forking out for the bottle.
The decor: The entire place reeks of the cash that must have gone into it, from the gorgeously smooth, open-pore wooden tables to the wall of cool, brushed-steel wine dispensers and of course the row upon row of Riedel glassware. In fact, one of their people let slip that they spent more on glasses than they did on the actual wine. Take your seat in one of the swooping pods that line the circular room, or head out to the vast open balcony looking over to CentralWorld—the only one of its type at the mall. There's also a rather en vogue bar pouring out old-school cocktails, as well as a private room equipped with one of those best-part-of-a-tree-trunk dining tables. Very nice.
The drink: Despite the opulent surroundings, most of the wine is at that, "hmm, OK I'll join you for a couple" kind of price. If you're happy paying B300-450 per drink then you won't feel out of place, and that's for the full 150ml pours. They also offer 30ml taster portions (B60-180) and 75ml half pours (B60-450). We loved the 2012 Californian Pinot Noir from Sandhi estate (B130/320/640) as well as a 2013 Tuscan Sangiovese from Le Ragnaie (B80/200/395). By the bottle you've got some tasty looking Rieslings starting around B1,800, while nothing but the Champers breaks the B10,000 mark. We can vouch for the Vilmart & Cie "Grande Reserve" Brut (B3,700)—an affordable, citrus-smooth belter.
The food: The small tapas menu has an Italian-Mediterranean thread. On the hearty end of the scale you've got house-made egg tagliatelle with baby octopus and aubergine ragout (B380) and crispy speck risotto with roasted butternut squah and bitter almond, but most of the menu is taken up charcuterie and cheese. Platters range from B480 for a selection of three to B950 for seven. Also try the creme brulee (B150).
The crowd: Waifish women in long dresses and business-y out-of-towners. Think late-30s-plus and stylish. Oliver Irvine