Originally established in Thailand in the late 1990s as a wine importer and distributor, Wine Connection really took off when owner Frenchman Michael Trocherie decided to add first deli counters at some of his wine shops and then tapas bar and bistro dining options at others. So successful has this evolution been – the business now operates 47 outlets and counting across the region – that Wine Connection can justifiably claim to be the leading wine retail chain in Southeast Asia.
One of the most popular Wine Connection outlets in Bangkok is the branch at the Rain Hill lifestyle mall on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 47. Recently renovated to include a new lounge area, the venue falls in the ‘Tapas Bar & Bistro’ category. It has something of a glassed-in tropical vibe to it thanks to a façade festooned with climbing plants and other flora.
The casual dining concept here attracts a trendy crowd of 30-something local and expat professionals bent on enjoying home-made tapas and bistro classics over a choice of cocktails or a glass or two of wine. Wine Connection stocks some 500 wine labels (most in the B800-B1500 per bottle range), including a very palatable new house wine, Les Solstices, a Rhone Valley wine available for B100 per glass. Unique to the Rain Hill outlet, there are also 12 draft craft beers from Europe, including a couple of crackers from Belgium.
From the extensive menu a good starter is the Cold Cut Platter for two (B290), a selection of dry-cured prosciutto and salami served with a portion of pate and whole-wheat bread. This could be followed by one of numerous pasta options – the ravioli salmon (B220) offers up pockets of sheer delight – or a pizza (B160-B230), or an entrée from a variety of prime Australian steaks served with wedge-cut fries and a choice of sauces. The 200 gram tenderloin (B450) is particularly good and pairs well with the smoked salmon and feta cheese salad (B190). A nice way to finish off is with a large slice of decadent and rich raspberry cheesescake (B110).
As a nod to local eating traditions, a whole section of the menu is devoted to ‘Share It’ meals for two and throughout the week at Rain Hill diners can also enjoy a combo platter (B199) comprising any of 3 tapas dishes from a choice of 17.
Relaxed, lacking pretention and offering good food and wine picks at remarkably reasonable prices, Wine Connection at Rain Hill and its sister deli & bistro outlets are set to go from strength to strength.
Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro
1st Flr, Rain Hill, Sukhumvit 47 | 0 261 7217
wineconnectiontapasbarbistro.com | 10am-1am