Vinoble, Petaling Jaya
Vinoble makes a valiant effort to offer a personal touch to the wine bar exploration - this is an intimate space where co-founder and certified wine specialist Danny Tai harnesses nearly a decade of experience to ensure that enjoyment and education go hand-in-hand, especially for those of us who still have much, much more to discover about wine. The mood is relaxed and the bottles flow effortlessly; we spent five hours here on a recent evening, sipping and swirling from sunset through near midnight.
When you visit Vinoble, Danny or his right-hand sommelier Ken will be on hand to take you through the evening with warmth and hospitality. Danny has tasted and chosen some 200 labels for Vinoble, focusing on his favourite producer, France, for the depth and diversity of the country's vintages.
There's a choice for everyone. If you're popping in for a soothing drink after work, pick a Bordeaux by the glass for RM20-RM40, with two to five choices available at any time. If you plan to linger, Vinoble's half-bottles start from RM75, while a bottle eases in from RM160, with varietals galore between RM200 to RM300, scaling up to premium possibilities north of RM3,000.
Take a seat at the face-to-face bar setting and rely on Danny and Ken's recommendations for best effect: For those of us who shun white wines at most other outlets, Joseph Drouhin's 2016 Chassagne-Montrachet is a Burgundy-born revelation, a Chardonnay that charms and captivates, bearing the bright roundness of stone fruits balanced by by a buoyant minerality.
Vinoble describes itself as a tasting bar, underscored by its red or white wine flights - ever-evolving selections of three glasses of different wines for around RM100. These flights offer excellent introductory value for sampling and comparing various regions, the wine bar equivalent of a Japanese omakase meal.
Our flight of reds took off once more from Burgundy, courtesy again of Maison Joseph Drouhin, a 140-year-old estate whose grapes have been certified organic for the past decade. The Coteaux Bourguignons is another beautifully satisfying curation by Danny, a soft-tannin blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay with supple suggestions of chocolate and oak among others, woven into a gentle, gracefully genial wine.
Vinoble also offers cold cuts, cheeses and bar bites for potential food pairings. The Spanish charcuterie includes cecina air-dried marinated beef and the pork enthusiast's smorgasbord of sweet-savoury-spicy iberico chorizo, delicately aromatic 15-month-aged jamon serrano dry-cured ham, and the more powerfully gamy 30-month iberico paleta, lightly torched by Ken. Each can be ordered on its own or on a 200-gram platter of four combinations for RM99.
Cheeses span the soft to the semi-hard, from truffled brie and Roquefort to Comte and Grana Padano (also RM99 for a board of four cheeses), so it's easy to imagine having a tapas-style night at Vinoble.
Our flight transited next in Bordeaux for Cap Royal's 2014 Bordeaux Suprieur, silky and succulent, a lush layering of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that might prove the favourite for many, making for the perfect partnership with fleshy, robust meat.
If it's available, order the off-menu special of Cinco Jotas' coveted acorn-fed Iberian ham, sublimely marbled, straight from the free-range meadows of southwestern Spain, its top-drawer tenderness coupled with vibrantly full-bodied nuances of flavour, at least two or three notches above regular jamon iberico.
Alternatively, call a few hours in advance to book a portion of iberico char siu, served fresh and warm, its caramelised bite yielding to the most luscious chew, bolstered by the nectarous richness of maple syrup. For a taste of pork at its finest, the Cinco Jotas 5J ham and the iberico char siu on their own would merit bookmarking Vinoble.
Domaine Combier's 2017 Crozes-Hermitage offers a safe landing in Rhone for our flight, an agreeably intense Syrah that represents another vineyard that's been organic for nearly half a century, from a terroir of chalky-clay, pebbly soil, a potently pleasurable end to our evening here.
All in all, Vinoble has poured plenty of care into its efforts, thoughtfully diving into details like its choice of Riedel Austrian-crafted wine glasses. While its kitchen isn't an enormous enterprise, its food selection equals its wine for quality; for a heavier dinner, customers can also order from the Tavern 13 restaurant downstairs, perhaps to feast on in one of three private rooms.
Many thanks to the Vinoble team for having us.
Lot E, Annex to Wisma South Engineers, Jalan 13/2, Section 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.Open Mon-Sat, 3pm-12am (or later). Tel:012-389-9728
This post first appeared on eatdrinkkl.com