Friday, August 1, 2008

Fine Wine Bar

While perusing a bar's wine list, I found such intriguing wines such as a 1962 Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1947 Château Pichon-Baron, and a 1928 Château Filhot Sauternes. That is not really unusual. You can find many wine lists with these or equivalent wines. But, this wine list did have something unique. Those three wines were available by the glass!

It is very rare to see any place that would sell such high-end wines by the glass. Yet that sight may soon become a bit more common. The company behind American Fine Wine Magazine has created the FINE Wine Bar concept. These bars will offer the 1000 finest wines, based on their book, by the glass.

The first FINE Wine has opened at the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport in their Wine & View wine bar. Why Finland? Well, Pekka Nuikki, the founder and Editor in Chief of the FINE-magazines, and Juha Lihtonen, Editor of the American, European and Scandinavian Fine Wine Magazines, are both Finnish. They plan to eventually open other FINE wine bars all around the world.

Wine & View has a regular wine list as well as the high-end wines. Their regular wine list has a very international flair with wines from all across the world, including even China. Prices run about 6-12 Euros for a 4 ounce glass of wine. Just note that they size their pours by centiliters so it takes a quick conversion to know exactly how much wine you are receiving.

The Fine Wine list is more limited. Each week they serve by glass one classified wine from their list of the 1000 finest wines. Their website has a listing of the upcoming wines that will be available.

Weeks 29-30:
1970 Château Malescot (St-Emilion) 110 € 7,40 €
1966 Château Magdelaine (St-Emilion) 235 € 15,70 €
1947 Château Pichon-Baron (Pauillac) 298 € 19,90 €
1928 Château Filhot (Sauternes) 590 € 39,40 €

Weeks 31-32:
1990 Château Ormes de Pez (St-Estèphe) 110 € 7,40 €
1982 Château La Lagune (Haut-Médoc) 270 € 18,00 €
1971 Vieux Château Certain (Pomerol) 185 € 12,40 €
1962 Château Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac) 590 € 39,40 €

The first price is if you wish to purchase the bottle and the second price is per glass. Each glass is 4 centiliters, or about 1.35 ounces. So, they should get about 18 glasses of wine per bottle.

Selection wise, you have a very limited choice of the fine wines by the glass. Not all of the 1000 wines are available any time. But then they probably have to limit the selection to reduce waste and such. When they open such a wine, it won't last too long. So, by limiting the wine selection, it helps reduce the chance a wine will go bad before it sells out. Plus, their selection, though small, is still greater than almost any other bar or restaurant. You have an opportunity to taste wines that you might not otherwise have the chance. And without the need of buying an entire bottle.

These are pricey wines by the glass and you are only getting a small taste. But then they are high-end wines so the price obviously would be high for a glass. These are not every-day wines. They are special wines that are worth a splurge, to experience wines that you normally do not. These prices certainly are not much different from high-end scotches, dessert wines and such that you can see on many high-end restaurant and bar lists.

I do like the idea of the FINE Wine Bar as I would like the opportunity to try some of these wines by the glass. It gives more options to people. And I don't think there would be a shortage of customers.


Taster B said...

Wow...when will they open one in New England I wonder..?

Wine Tasting Guy said...

Very interesting concept. I wonder how willing people will be to splurge for such a small amount. It is truly JUST a taste...and for A LOT of money!

Can't help but notice that the only unusual country represented on their "regular" wine list is China - which is very unusual indeed. What about wines from up and coming Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Portugal or ISRAEL??

Thanks Richard.