Jul 07 2011
Southeast Asia – and particularly Cambodia – is not known for being a rewarding place for wine aficionados and cheese lovers. But this disenfranchised group finds solace on the last Wednesday of every month when the Intercontinental Hotel puts on their monthly wine and cheese event. Featuring an international selection of wines from four local vendors and a variety of European cheeses, the event appeals to expats and visitors equally interested in boozing and networking with the movers and shakers of Phnom Penh.
The event is held in the Lobby Lounge and Bar of the InterContinental Hotel from 19:00 to 21:30, with an admission fee of $25. It’s well worth the price if one is willing to engage in a little bit of gluttony – the cheese is all-you-can-eat and the wine is free pour. Other snacks are also served, including freshly baked breads and canapés. Seafood has also been served in recent months, including fresh oysters on the half shell and smoked salmon (that I’ve notoriously overindulged in). Some months have also featured desserts, including cheesecakes and other Western après-dinner delicacies.
Although it is possible to get decent cheese in Phnom Penh – Thai Huot grocery is a good place to start – a true cheeseophile can grow dismayed with the expense and lack of selection in town. The InterCon imports 10 European cheeses each month, and makes a special effort to get varieties not readily available in Cambodia. Last month the featured cheeses were: Raclette, Stilton Meule, Brie Melun, Camembert Calvados, Plaisir Au Chablis, Rocaillou, Taupinette Fermiere, Munster, Fourme D’Ambert and Gorgonzola – enough to bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded cheese-junkie.
The wines are specially chosen to compliment the feature cheeses by four local vendors: Les Celliers d’Asie, Attwood, AusKhmer and The Warehouse. The selections are sure to please seasoned wine connoisseurs and newbies alike, and the vendors are always eager to chat about the wines they’ve chosen that month.
And if trying to stuff as much wine and cheese as possible into yourself in a two-and-a-half hour window isn’t entertainment enough, there’s also a professional piano player (and occasionally a violinist). So mark your calendars and come down and say hello — your faithful correspondent will most likely be camped out by the oyster table.
Wine and Cheese Night
Last Wednesday of each month, 19:00 to 21:30. Admission $25 net.
296 Mao Tse Tung Blvd, Phnom Penh.
T: (023) 424 888
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