Vintry at Royal Selangor

Clubs Raffles Place
Vintry at Royal Selangor
There are buttons to press, cards to swipe and handsome Italian ‘Enomatic’ wine-serving systems to play with at Clarke Quay's new by-the-glass wine bar

Over at Clarke Quay, wine’s gone pop. That’s to say, populist, kind of. Malaysian-owned bar-restaurant chain Vintry Cellars has set out to defuse the pomp of wine drinking with their new, trendy-ish, by-the-glass vino bar that, on the face of it, peddles a more accessible, no-brow route into top-tier wines. Or, at least, makes a kudos-worthy attempt to make quaffing less stuffy, more fun. And it’s a goer.

On a recent visit, a group of Sex and the City-type women were having a blast around the informal, tapas-style counter. And why wouldn’t they? There are buttons to press, cards to swipe and handsome Italian ‘Enomatic’ wine-serving systems to play with. A revolving roster of 32 New- and Old-World bottles receive roughly equal billing, and come served by the glass in three measures; the 25ml tasting carafe starts at $2.

At the lower end, there are probably too many predictable, supermarket-found brands like Penfolds, Lindemans and Wolf Blass, but things get interesting towards the mid-range, where prices steady around the $21 mark for a full glass. We found an excellent 1999 Spanish Gran Colegiata: cassis, black cherry, dark chocolate and nutty, spicy oak aromas – well, that’s what the tasting card said, anyway. A know-all sommelier to talk up the wines was always going to be too much to ask, wasn’t it?

Service, then, if not deeply knowledgeable, is upbeat, but there’s little in the way of stewardship. Otherwise, there’s a cooled cellar with some top-brass fizz on offer, plus over 1,000 bottles to take home. We like. Alexander Barlow

Wines by the glass from $2.

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Venue name: Vintry at Royal Selangor
Address: Clarke Quay
Block 3A River Valley Road (#01-01)
Opening hours: Mon-Thu noon-12.30am, Fri & Sat noon-1.30am, Sun 5pm-11.30pm
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