Organic wines at natural prices
The bottom line is this: if you’re a wine lover, you’ll love About Eatery, a warm and welcoming bar and restaurant that recently opened on the ground floor of the Ocean Tower II building. The initial draw is, of course, the amazing selection of organic wines, but (as the name itself suggests) this is also an “eatery”, and offers tipplers a wide variety of tasty Mediterranean style bites to match with their very affordable artisan vino.
Owner Guilio Saverino, formerly of Giusto Restaurant and Bed Supperclub, is a passionate individual who brings a wealth of wine knowledge to his customers. But before any tasting he gives me a breakdown of the basic properties that denote vin naturel (natural wines). Organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, while the term Biodynamic indicates that the wine growers follow natural harvest cycles—usually in relation to moon cycles—and shun the use of both chemicals and commercial yeasts. Finally, the term Natural indicates that fermentation has been allowed to take place without the use of commercial yeasts, enzymes, sugars, colours, or flavour enhancers (such as oak barrels).
Many wines here are available by the glass, and on Guilio’s advice I start with a 2014 Crazy by Nature, Cosmo White from New Zealand’s Millton Vineyards (B180). The helpful wine menu legend points out that this delightfully crisp Chardonnay, Viognier and Marsanne mix is: biodynamic; aged in stainless steel; uses natural yeast; and is suitable for vegans (no egg products used during the filtration process). I also comment on the wine’s slight but pleasant “fizz”, which Guilio points out is a common trait in natural wines.
Moving on, I sample a wine that is neither white nor red, but “orange”—a style which, in Bangkok, is unique to this location. Orange wine is simply white wine that has had some maceration time in contact with the grape skins (giving the wine an orange hue). My first sip of the 2014 Clockwork (get it?) from New Zealand’s Mount Edwards vineyards (B195) introduces me to a wonderfully fruity, oak-aged, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay blend. The wine also appears cloudy in the glass, which is common in natural wines.
Finally I try two reds. I start with an organic 2014 Contadino Rosso from Sicily (B220), which the menu legend tells me has matured in amphora clay jars (“It’s the way wine was made thousands of years ago,” Guilio point out), followed by an oak-aged 2013 Crofters Syrah (B195) from Hawkey’s Bay NZ. Both are delicious, but it’s the 6,000 year-old recipe that proves most memorable. It’s like the best grape juice you’ve ever had—and that is a compliment in every sense!
NOTE: About Eatery also hosts excellent “themed” wine dinners (usually every Tuesday evening), often showcasing specific wine regions. See their website for full details.
GF, Ocean Tower II
Sukhumvit 21, Soi 3
Tel: 081 920 0740
Open: Mon-Fri 11:30am–2:30pm, Sat 5pm-1am