Monday, April 16, 2007

Kukje Gallery Wine Bar

It was a weekend of tourist activities. We stayed in the excellent Metro hotel in Myong-dong and did visits to the palaces and temples that we have so abjectly failed to visit in the past.

I bought a couple of bottles in the wine shop in Lotte department store, a Cava and a New Zealand Pinot Noir. If there is any doubt that the Korean wine market is set to grow then the evidence was there, it was hammered with people the majority of whom seemed to be showing a real interest in the product as well as buying. Good to see.

After visiting Gyeongbokgung we had a stroll past the galleries that line the main street. It felt a lot like Notting Hill, so I pretty much hated it, but I had heard of Kukje and knew they had a wine bar. After a full day of schlepping around the city with barely a drink to break things up we felt justified in an early evening drink.

Inside is very smart, low lighting, leather seats, and a view of the mountains and the large palace wall. We were given a fairly hefty wine list which disappointingly offers no wine by the glass. There was no way that was going to deter us with the state of our feet and thirst and so we took to ordering a bottle of fizz. With Veuve at 58,000 a half bottle it was never going to be Champagne though and so I tried Cremant de Bourgogne for the first time. I had heard that it was a good low cost alternative to its more illustrious sibling.

Given the surroundings I wasn't comfortable doing a tasting note but my memory will be sufficient I am sure. It was extremely pale and had a good mousse, though the bubbles were not as fine as you would hope to get in a good quality Champagne. It was a lively, fruity wine, lots of apple. Loads of it. Like an unsweetened Appletize maybe. It was crisp with good acidity and the bubbles felt nice and smooth. I suspect that it was produced using the 'methode traditionelle', that is it goes through its second fermentation and thus acquires its fizz in the bottle we were drinking it from.

It wasn't as cheap as I would like and the snack provided was rubbish. We were presented with an attractive plate of seemingly stale bread sticks. Which looked a lot like sticks.

There were plenty of other wine bars in the area where I am sure the well to do art lovers of the world like to conspicuously consume. I may have to join them as the weather improves.


big bliss said...

mmmmmm, I got crates of that cremant de bourgogne on a booze cruise once. About a quid a bottle in Auchan. The boy C said I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, and, with a kebab as accompaniment, he was spot on

Big Bliss said...

Now then. There's a new Majestic just opened down our road. I was nigh on giddy about the whole "walking distance" thing til I thought through the weight of a case. It'll have to be paniers on the dog

squirrelandgman said...

I used to pop stuff around for folks in the van when it was double close. Especially if they were little old ladies so you should be alright!
Taitinger, 20 quid a bottle!
The Fairleigh Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are quality as well. 5.99!
It's sunny here. I want a drink.