Sunday, June 17, 2007

On the up.

I was determined to have a good day yesterday. Despite staying out much too late on Friday drinking the shocking draught beer I made it to Apgujeong to meet the SO. We headed straight to the Enoteca wine shop, located downstairs in the East building of Galleria department store. It is a nice store, airy and spacious with a well presented wine selection. As you might expect the focus is on high end French wine, Galleria is a store for the moneyed Koreans, but there are also a selection of monthly wines reduced to some reasonable prices. Pouilly Fumes reduced to 24,000w are pretty appealing. Perhaps this is why they had sold out. They were doing a sparkling wine tasting which was unfortunately fully booked but we gave details so we will hopefully get to experience one of their future events.
I bought two wines from the Languedoc, a rosé from a respected producer and a Sauvignon Blanc. Two bottles, 44,000w. Not too bad. I will report on them in the week but the pink is a refreshing, fruity, sour affair that may need food...

Yesterday was far too hot to be pounding the streets so we dived into a bar called Abbey Road that is just off Rodeo Street. It is a nice bar, I have no idea what the connection to Abbey Road is but it feels a long long way from a traditional English boozer. It has a really nice garden area and lots of open inside areas, the inside outside basically. I was drinking Hoegarden myself, the wine list was average and over priced, but the SO had the house white. She said it was revolting. Near the end of her glass I decided to have a sniff. It was corked. We agreed that she really needs to trust her nose more. She assumed it was just a bad wine whereas in reality it was spoiled. The corked wine is the one that has appeared at the top right of the blog. So, at least it looked nice.

We decided to hunt down some food but happened upon Once in a Blue Moon, a Jazz bar. I am not a big jazz fan but we had read a lot about this place and it sounded interesting. It's a pretty nice place, dark, comfortable with a stylish 1920's interior. It feels a long way from the more traditional Korean bars. The food is expensive! So was the wine. The closest thing to good value was a Muga Reserva, which weighed in at 84,000w. A fairly hefty price tag then, but Muga is a good Rioja producer and given the price of some very average wines elsewhere on the list it did represent value of a sort. We were in the mood for white though and so plumped for a Macon Village at 55,000w. That is a mighty mark-up for a Macon, you could get some far more illustrious Burgundies for that sort of money. The wine was opened with a level of ceremony that a Macon Village is probably not worthy of. Our waitress sniffed the cork and presented it to me, I dutifully ignored it, there is absolutely nothing to be learned from the cork. It was a pleasant enough little Chardonnay. Light, slightly nutty citrus and apples. Had the length of Sheffield United's stay in the Premiership. There really isn't a lot to be said about it except that I did detect a bit of cheesiness about it. I had been drinking in the sun though, so, you know, my radar may have been a bit out. If you have the cash to spare I would definitely recommend it as a place to go though. I think drinking Champagne in there would be a pretty pleasurable experience.

Speaking of Champagne, why aren't there any Champagne bars in Apgujeong? It would make a killing. Absolute. Conspicuous consumption is Agpujeong. What says wealth better than Champagne. In fact, if there are any venture capitalists reading, get in touch. I'll make us rich. A Champagne and Oyster bar. Dark, stylish and expensive. Seriously, this time next year......


Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sorry to bother you with a wine question, but perhaps you'll indulge me. I'm going too a BBQ party in early July here in Seoul, and I thought that some refreshing whites that would go with the food might be nice.

Do you have any suggestions on Riesling or Gewürztraminer? I haven't had these in a long time, but I thought that they might be good with BBQ. What do you think? And can one get them easily in Seoul?

Or do you suggest something else?

Also, the host suggested a red zinfandel (not the sweet white stuff -- though I've been told that dry white zinfandel exists).

If you have any suggestions, feel free to suggest.

Jeffery Hodges

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squirrelandgman said...

I would say this is a perfectly good place to leave a wine question. Barbecues are a little tricky because of the variety, red meat, white meat and fish. I agree white is a good idea, especially if it is hot. I think a Riesling would work great, especially with grilled fish and pork. The acidity will cut through the fattiness of the meat really well. I love Gewurzt and the spiciness would really suit a bbq, you can get a really nice Alsatian Hugel one in Korea. They definitely have it at the Shinsegae Dept store. As for reds, Zinfandel would work well, though my American bias starts to kick in. Also Shiraz is probably the classic partner, big, peppery Australian Barossa Valley Shiraz. The Two Hands wines tend to be full on fruity, classic style Shiraz(
. You can get those at Shindong wines in most department stores. Then there is always a Rose! Perfect outdoor drinking. If you can hunt down a Sancerre Rose then I suspect you would be very happy, though not with the price.

Hope that is helpful.

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yes, that's very helpful. Thanks. I'll get my wife to help me on a wine-shopping trip.

Jeffery Hodges

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Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

By the way, you'll be interested in a recent post of mine:

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Wine

Not that it's especially informative, and I do show my American prejudice, but you'll be interested to see the reason for the high price of American wines in Korea.

Or maybe you've already seen the article.

Jeffery Hodges

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Yoomz said...

While in Seoul I ended up going to Blue Moon twice. The wine was overpriced but the live Jazz definitely made up for it. And drinking champagne in that atmosphere was fantastic. It reminded me of Blue Note, which I'm sure it was trying to do.

I agree, a champagne bar would do ridiculously well in Apku.

BTW did you hear that Charles Shaw, aka two buck chuck at Trader Joes, just won an award for chardonnay?

Reading your blog makes me curse the 12 bottle restriction on wine when you move to Korea. Otherwise I would bring Champagne by the caseload with me next year.