subway turnstiles will soon recognize your face. Whatever, we just want some booze. This week: La Galerie’s house red wine.elcome to our column where we look at what’s good to drink around Shanghai. And because it’s Friday. And also because
When you order the house wine at many restaurants or bars, you’re usually getting what they got for a killer price, not because it represents what they stand for. That isn’t the case at La Galerie, a new wine bar focusing on colder climate, lighter bodied wines, like this pinot noir from French vintner Benjamin Darsault.
Located around the corner from Iapm mall, La Galerie is heavy on bottles from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, and northern Rhone, with a smattering of German, American (New York and Oregon), and northern Italian wines. The list is by co-founder Lionel Le Gal, a French native who’s spent most of the last decade importing and distributing wine in China, and this is his first time opening a bar here. “I call it cool climate wines for cool people,” he said with a laugh.
La Galerie is also an art gallery with the exhibits changing monthly. They have vintage furniture from New York (you don’t want to spill wine on that) and works by American artist David Redic fill the walls. But the art does more than just decorate. Some of the pieces will inspire dishes at an upcoming kitchen collaboration with chef Pol Garcia, formerly of Spanish restaurant El Patio, and others form the labels for some of La Galerie’s house wines.
One of the house reds to get the fancy label treatment is Benjamin Darnault’s 2014 pinot noir (¥68). It comes from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, which is close to Spain and isn’t very cold, but the wine drinks like something from much further north. It smells like sour cherry and mint and the forest after a spring shower, and tastes lean and flinty with a slight peppery finish. Good for sipping daintily among priceless vintage furniture, great as an example of what a house wine can be.
La Galerie has a happy hour every day from 5pm to 7pm where it’s buy-one-get-one-free on their house wines. They also have regular blind tasting events featuring wines based on a particular style, and the most popular bottle gets to go on their wine list.
1 Fenyang Road