Samui Wining & Dining
ESCAPE CHAWENG
Samui Wine Oasis, as the name suggests, truly is an escape from the craziness of Chaweng.


Page-28

Chaweng most certainly has the island’s highest concentration of bars and clubs – but generally the beverages of choice are beer and cocktails. Add to that pumping music and a rowdy crowd, and you have your average Chaweng establishment, give or take a few that don’t adhere to this norm.

        And one that most certainly stands out is Samui Wine Oasis – situated slap bang in the middle of the madness. Its name is fitting. Here you can sit under the canopy of tall trees that are dressed in fairy lights, and sip on a perfectly chilled Chenin Blanc, watching the world go by and contemplating the good life. While the rest of Chaweng seems to be in a rush, at Samui Wine Oasis, life slows down to a more relaxing pace, and what better way to enjoy it than over a bottle of good wine and a tasty meal.

        Samui Wine Oasis is the brainchild of Khun Napasoon Chayuntaradilok (Khun Laem), a pilot with Thai Airways, who has travelled the world with his wife, and developed a love of wine during his travels. He is lucky enough to have visited wine regions around the globe and has attended several winemaking and wine appreciation courses abroad. Khun Laem wanted to share his appreciation of wine, and spread wine culture within Thailand, so

opened Samui Wine Oasis in 2012, vowing to provide top quality wines at reasonable prices – not an easy goal with Thailand’s tax on wine being 200 – 300%! Yet, he’s managed to live up to his word, and his staff have been well trained to know which wines go best with menu items, and equally as important, how to serve each wine correctly.

         Chatting to Khun Laem, he revealed his goals and the core concept of the restaurant. Firstly, Samui Wine Oasis and its staff are professional in all matters wine, and will only provide good quality wines. From the cheapest to the most expensive bottle, quality wines have been sourced from around the world. Khun Laem is also keen to promote local Thai wines, which have made their mark in the wine world in recent years, so you’ll see a selection from Thai estates too. All aspects of wine service have been thoroughly researched, and all staff are trained in serving wine – from the temperature of the wine, the glass it’s served in, the manner in which the wine is opened and poured, as well as the climate controlled cellar and wine fridges. To accompany the quality wine, all meals are prepared with the finest and freshest ingredients. All sauces are made from scratch in traditional homemade style, and presentation is paramount, down to the vine leaves used on the plates. You won’t find any store bought dipping sauces here, everything is made to order – so you might wait slightly longer for certain dishes, but you’re guaranteed freshness, and you can always enjoy another glass of wine while you wait!

          Lastly, Khun Laem has created a restaurant with a relaxed and casual feel – there’s nothing stuffy or pretentious about Samui Wine Oasis. Choose from several dining areas, from the wooden deck under the trees and vines (Yes, real vines on Samui!), to the elegant yet laid back dining room overlooking the tasting room and cellar. Or you can move to the barrels at the street front if you’re just after a drink and want to do a spot of people watching. The restaurant is attached to the beautiful Chaweng Garden Beach Resort, easy to find along Chaweng Beach Road, a few hundred metres north of Central Festival, and is open daily from 4:00 pm to midnight.

          “In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well-being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism, nor a sign of sophistication, nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.” Some (incorrectly) perceive wine drinking to be only for the elite, or a beverage only for special occasions, but these words by Ernest Hemmingway ring true, and show that wine appreciation is not only for a select few, and can in fact be enjoyed by all, every day. At Samui Wine Oasis you’ll find a wide selection of wines, all personally selected by Khun Laem, and some are priced as low as 490 baht per bottle. In fact most bottles are under 1,000 baht in the ‘casual wines’ category. For those looking for something a little more special, try the ‘smart wines’ selection, ranging from 1,400 to 1,900 baht per bottle, and for a special occasion, select a bottle from the ‘classic wines’ range, which are prices from 3,300 baht to 7,500 baht per bottle. Wines are sourced from around the world, including Argentina, Italy, France, Australia, South Africa, Chile, USA, New Zealand, Austria and Spain.

          Of course, to pair with these great wines, you’ll have a choice of delicious food too, from classic Thai dishes with a twist, to European favourites such as pastas or steaks. The menu is diverse, with a vast selection of appetisers, salads, entrées and desserts. For something different from the appetiser menu, try the shrimp cakes coated in almonds - light, with a crunchy crust and served with a homemade dipping sauce. Those with an adventurous palate will enjoy the fusion dish ‘tom yum lobster ravioli’ – lobster filled ravioli with a Thai flavour, spicy cream soup, with a mushroom and kaffir lime foam. Seafood is a major focus on the menu, and fresh fish and shellfish are on display, ready for you to choose. Samui Wine Oasis has a strong connection with the local fishermen, so all seafood is straight from the sea, and is prepared to order. And do leave space for a chocolate tortina – this warm chocolate cake with chocolate lava oozing from the centre is served with vanilla ice-cream and fruit, the perfect way to end a meal. Or better yet, keep going with a cheese platter and a bottle of bubbly…

           Benjamin Franklin once said, “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” Well, if you like the sound of that philosophy, then head down to Samui Wine Oasis for a change of pace and a taste of the good life.

          

 Rosanne Turner


 


Copyright 2018 Samui Holiday Magazine. All rights reserved Siam Map Company Ltd.