A vast and daunting subject to approach, wine is as varied as its audience, but reveals its secrets with each tasting over time. Samantha Lim gives you the 101 on what is essentially fermented grape juice.
La Cave KL
Though not a large venue by any means, this wine bar in the perenially busy Bangsar Baru feels inviting with its warm wooden accents and attractive prices. Owner and fourth-generation winemaker Florian stocks his space with wines by small producers, meaning that you’re highly likely to sample something less commercial. Smooth Operator by Sade was playing in the background when we stopped by, and we spotted a bottle of sherry going for a pittance (just RM50).
Best For: Adventurous wine enthusiasts willing to sample something new
Three To Try: Fiesta Tannat Madiran, Domaine Bailly Reverdy Sancerre Pinot Noir & Sauvignon Blanc (organic)
Promotions: Happy Hour from 4-8pm daily, Ladies Night from 7-10pm every Wednesday & LGBT Night from 5-8pm every Tuesday
7, Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Sitka Restaurant + Studio
Helmed by Scottish chef Christian Recomio, Sitka is split into two sections: an all-day restaurant on the ground floor and an experimental studio upstairs. While the restaurant proudly displays an alphabetically arranged selection of New World wines, the studio is something of a shrine to Natural Wines. What are Natural Wines, you may ask? In a nutshell, they are organic or biodynamic wines with little or no sulfites, and neither yeast nor additives. Staunch advocates preach that hangovers can be avoided by drinking only Natural Wines!
Best For: New Age epicures who champion sustainable food and wine practices
Three To Try: 2012 Pét-Nat from G.D. Vajra Albe, 2017 Lucy Margaux Rosé de Noir Fizzante & Unico Zelo Truffle Hound 2016
Promotions: Buy one free one select bottles of wine from 4-8pm
8-5, Jalan Batai, Plaza Batai, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
Hidden in plain sight, this wine lounge in Desa Sri Hartamas is worth hunting down if only for the gracious hospitality. Co-owner Trina, who also founded Wine Tasting Malaysia, genuinely enjoys sharing her knowledge of and zeal for wine via informal wine tasting workshops. Teal sofas and ornate embellishments give Regale a Venetian feel, and a private room is available via advanced bookings. Old World wines take centre stage at Regale with up to twelve different whites and reds are constantly on rotation for tastings by the glass.
Best For: Catching up with girlfriends in a quiet, clandestine environment
Three To Try: Chateau de Lafont 2007, Liebfraumilch from Rheinhessen & Bobal & Cabernet Sauvignon by Castillo de Liria
Promotions: Gal’s Night all night every Wednesday, High Wine (akin to high tea) except that your finger food is paired with bottomless winebased cocktails) from 3-5pm every Sunday (reservations required)
36-1, Jalan 25/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
Words by Samantha Lim