THAILAND’S complex tax system means there’s almost 400 percent import duty levied on wine, and as such, labels popular in the west usually sell for much higher a price here in the Land of Smiles.
But there is one place in town where you can still expect to find great wines at good value – mainly because the owners don’t mind scrimping on profit to ensure their customers are having a great time.
Located opposite the former Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel (soon to be a whopping new Marriott) on the ground-floor of the Park 22 complex, Wine Depot is an intimate hub of fine wines operated by the popular wine importing company of the same name.
“Our friends had been bugging us for ages to open a place where they can socialize and enjoy wine at good value,” says Wine Depot’s French owner, Jean-Christophe, “and when this location came up we thought we’d give it a go. Our philosophy from the start has not been the pursuit of profit – we want to promote wine drinking culture in Bangkok. And we do this not only by offering good, affordable wines, but by also showing that wine doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s one of life’s greatest, simple pleasures. And here it’s all about fun.”
In light of this philosophy, the third Thursday of every month Wine Depot hosts a wine and buffet night featuring free-flowing wines and high quality cheeses and cold cuts for a mere B800. The wine bottles showcased on the night normally sell for B1,000 each, so it’s great value for money. Due to popular demand, a similar concept will soon be offered on Saturday nights.
Aside from the impressive selection of wines (with bottles ranging in price from B500 – B15,000; and wine by the glass starting at B150), Wine Depot also offers an extensive food menu loaded with tapas, cold cuts and cheese platters (try the combo, B550), thin crust pizzas (B220-B320), some delicious grilled meats (the Wagyu sirloin skewers we tried were impressive. B450), mussels, Thai dishes, soups, salads; and sandwiches. There are also some tempting desserts, including the decadent but lovely homemade Chocolate lava cake with ice cream (B190).
More good news: All prices are net. Well worth checking out!
28 Sukhumvit 22 (opposite the former Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel). 02 000 4238. facebook.com/winedepotbangkok