Block 3A, River Valley Road
#01-01 Clarke Quay
Vintry is hailed as Singapore’s largest choice of wines by-the-glass – 36 to be precise. Here you can sample everything from dry New World sauvignons to deep, rich Old World Barolos to rare vintages – all available by the glass, by the half-glass or in 25ml tasting portions.
The location of this small, low-lit wine bar, bang in the centre of colourfully commercial Clarke Quay, seems incongruous with the elegant and sophisticated interior, which has a “wine library” and a chilled wine cellar for premium wines. Served by the bottle are over 1,000 wines from around the world, priced to suit all wallets.
Arm yourself with a prepaid Wine Card if you want to sample wine “on tap” from the four humming, high-tech refrigerators – or Enomatic wine-serving systems – that line the walls. The reds and whites are stored separately at different temperatures, with tasting notes above each bottle. You can wander down the wine aisle slurping taster portions until you hit on a bottle that merits a full glass to bring back to the table. Grown up kids in a grown up candy store?
It’s not just about wining, though; there is much dining to be done, too, from an Asian-influenced Western menu. Not what you may expect, perhaps, when looking to pair up your varietal of choice, but the interesting tapas – think nasi lemak maki and otak otak – and hearty mains like tom yum spaghetti and a selection of different rib dishes– are a welcome change from the usual cheese platters. Plus, the sommelier is on hand to suggest wines that work better with the different nuances of local ingredients, including spices.
After some exhilarated dispensing of taster portions up and down the Enomatic machines, we settled on a very drinkable Mount Difficult Sauvignon Blanc that proved reliable throughout tasty bites of curry leaf-infused cereal prawns, fried cheese balls drizzled with honey and good old tomato bruschetta.
An earthy red pinot noir from François Parent Gros Volnay 1er Cru Les Fremiets saw us through meatier tapas, including the house special: caramelised pork, and a platter of ribs from the main course menu served with coleslaw and homey mash with gravy.
If you’re in the area and fancy something a little different, then Vintry offers an interesting take on the wine bar, with its self-serve wines, an Asian-inspired tapas menu and a little bit of sophisticated quiet away from the bright lights of Clarke Quay.