Jun 20 2012
As a brand consultant, when someone names their new wine shop/wine bar something like “Delicious Wines”, I immediately doubt their promise; after all, if you’ve got it you don’t need to shout about it. So I was in no desperate rush to get there. However, one evening, after a few drinks in nearby Southgate, we thought we’d give it a go, and in this case the delivery really does live up to the name: the wine is delicious indeed.
As you approach, the large red and black sign shouts out, “Here I am!” but fortunately the inside is a bit more discreet. The courtyard, which runs round the front and to the side, is a pleasant spot on a warm evening — though not when it’s raining, as we found out last weekend — and sitting inside is, literally, like sitting in a wine shop. There aren’t many tables, but it’s still not drawing the crowds, so you’ll have no problem getting a seat and having room to breathe.
The premise of Delicious Wines is that you can buy wine to take away, or drink it in for a cover charge of 50,000 VND per bottle. I think I’ve mentioned before that wine in Vietnam is more expensive than back in England, and unfortunately Delicious Wines hasn’t found a way to import it at rock bottom prices — or a way to make Dalat wine more palatable — but the prices still aren’t bad and there are plenty around the US$10 pricepoint. The real bonus is the drink-in prices, which are significantly lower than anywhere else in the city — or certainly any that I’ve found.
They also know how to serve wine, and that’s not always a given here or anywhere else in the world. The white is nicely chilled and kept in an ice bucket and the red is at just the right temperature — or as near as it can be, given the battle with the elements wine servers face here. The staff top up glasses at appropriate intervals and replace glasses when you move onto a new bottle of something different. You can also buy a select few wines by the glass as well.
Although the wine is the hero, there’s food here too; choose from a good mix of hearty fillers, such as pasta and burgers, and excellent salads and mixed plates to accompany your wine, such as a charcuterie platter and a cheese plate. All are excellent value — for example, salads are 60,000 VND, pasta is just over 100,000 VND and the cheese plate’s around 120,000 VND — and well presented and tasty.
The staff are friendly, polite and, as I mentioned, serve the wine well, and manager Mr Dat really knows his stuff and is a pleasure to have a chat with about wine.
If you want a wider menu choice and aren’t a fan of wine, then head down the road to Southgate, which is a mid to high-end bar/restaurant, or try out any of the numerous food joints on Tong Duy Tan or Cam Chi (Food Street).
Delicious Wines should certainly make it onto your list of places to go if you want a change from bia Hanoi and a peaceful, comfortable place to while away a few hours with your beloved or a group of friends — but not great for kids.
14 Tong Duy Tan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
T: (04) 3938 1914
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