This week we have been in Vietnam. First five days on Phu Quoc island and as of yesterday in Saigon. We are here to eat and drink. What else! Phu Quoc was a bit of a holiday for us. We stayed at a nice resort by the sea. In the evenings, we took the shuttle to “town” and had some local food and beer. Now we are in Saigon and the hunt for wine is on!
As Vietnam is a former French colony, there is a history that speaks in favor of there being wine available. And there is. I was surprised by the difference to Bangkok, but after considering the difference in both countries past, it is clear that Saigon is a much more vibrant wine destination than Thailand. Thailand (former Siam) has always been independent, so western influences have come late.
The old colonial buildings in Saigon are beautiful, the traffic is just as bad as I thought it would be, and the food is awesome. We really got lucky with our hotel though. We invested in staying at the Sofitel, and it is really worth every penny. With a complimentary upgrade we are able to visit the executive lounge and they serve cakes and Tattinger in the evenings. This is by far the best hotel experience (after our honeymoon) of my life. And it cost us something around 100€ a night (M must have found some good offer). I would say it’s a steal.
Back to wine bars. We have already found two that pass the bar as proper wine hangouts. It is quite common that from 5-7pm there is a happy hour with 50% off. So the bill ends up around 3-5€ per glass. Not bad at all! There is of course a high French influence. You can find white Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier on the list as well as come Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir from France. Additionally you have some nice wines from New Zealand and Australia as well as the South American countries. I would say Spain and Portugal are non existent her, if you don’t count the Freixenet (yuk) I saw in the gourmet shop. I can pass that one thank you very much.
That was it for this wine week. I will write more about the Saigon wine-scene next week. Enjoy the photos!