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Wine Loft | are we being mocked?

wine loft bangkokLet’s start with the blunt diagnosis before we dive into the particulars: Wine Loft was designed to cater to people who know nothing about wine. We might even go so far as to say Wine Loft also caters to people that know nothing about food.

In Bangkok, its clearly not requisite for wine spots to be necessarily good to be successful, but Wine Loft really failed on so many levels it felt egregious and we’re not sure people will put up with its faults no matter what. Let us explain.

First is the wine rating system, which Wine Loft has trademarked, and that should tell you everything you need to know about this place. Called Wine Loft Easypick, it divides wines by color (yellow, red and blue signify cheap, reasonable and pricey) and initials (FE means full body, easy to drink; FS full body, sophisticated; ME and MS medium; LE and LS light). We feel embarrassed even explaining this. Of course Wine Loft is trying to tap into the desire for conspicuous consumption that drives so many Thais to show others they have money, but look at those descriptions for a second. You can’t just call half the wines on your shelf sophisticated and assume you’ve done your marketing.

In fairness, some of the labels do have one-sentence descriptions filled with fruity and flowery adjectives, but to actually know what you’re getting, like most consumables you have to sample it and understand what you like. Wine Loft is similar to most wine bars in that it sells mostly by the bottle, but directly below its Easypick legend is a automated wine-by-the-glass machine that sells small, medium and large portions. Oh.my.god.

Oh yea, our waiter repeatedly sneezed without covering his mouth.

You probably don’t care about the food at this point, but their most expensive dish, grilled Australian lamb 490 baht++, was served lukewarm and was a chewy, tendon-filled mess. The rest of the menu is a mix of pastas and seafood, but if Wine Loft runs its kitchen like the rest of the bar, why bother?

The initial reaction upon entering is the design made excellent use of a tight space, tiering the seating and racking the wine along the walls, with excess wood mesh for effect. But a second look reveals much is from How to Run a Wine Bar for Dummies, from the soft lighting and wicker furniture to the wine bar CD shuffle and display case filled with fake fruit.

Your best bet may be a smoking room upstairs that features plush couches and if you go up with a bottle, you just close the door and don’t have to worry about the service. But for a wine bar that can’t compete with Wine Connection, Wine Republic or Grand Hyatt Erawan on price or variety, Wine Loft needs to step up and give patrons a reason to visit.

Wine Loft.
Location: 24/1 Sukhumvit Soi 31, just past Fat Fish bistro, which is a fantastic alternative, on the right-hand side from the bak soi.
Mass transit: BTS Phrom Pong
Hours: 11 am-midnight daily
Phone: 02-260-0027
Website: www.wineloft.com

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