Waiting For Godot…Merlot Optional

Bill Barnett 15 April 2010 2 comments

Trapped halfway out the in door at Surin’s enVision Wine Bar I feel a bit like a character in Samuel Beckett’s tragicomedy ‘Waiting for Godot.’ Like Pozzo and sidekick Lucky I’ve been warming up a barstool, woops maybe that should be winestool in anticipation of the arrival of someone who never arrived.  

Owner Steven Roberto makes way for Godot at the bar

Owner Steven Roberto makes way for Godot at the bar



For me this oasis of cool in the midst of what is becoming a chic bohemian neighborhood near to hotel names such as Twinpalms, Amanpuri and the Chedi is my favorite vinoteque on the island. It’s a casual neighborhood whether strolling down the road to the nearby Lemongrass House’s fantastic selection of spa products or, eats at the Sundowner Café or else watching the sun set at Catch Beach Club.

While the Clark Kent like wine guru at enVision California native Steven Roberto perhaps is more suited for the mockumentary of the spin in ‘Waiting for Guffman. ’ This is the type for place Corky St. Claire might utter “I got off that boat with nothing but a dancers belt and a tube of chapstick.”


Steven’s encyclopedia knowledge goes back to his learning years in Viticulture at the University of California – Davis, along with tenure with famed winemarker Robert Mondavi amongst others.

Life on the fault line eventually drove him abroad and in 2001 he opened a boutique wine business including wholesale to local hotels and restaurants, retail and of course in time the wine bar where I sit waiting…..

Looking for torpedos for my submarine

Looking for torpedos for my submarine

This place reeks of wine and caters to both this old world traditionalist, new world junkies…be it by the glass, bottle or case. Vertical tastings can be arranged and the vibe, yes that all important missing ingredient is as warming as a large lovely Cabernet.

Phuket remains a crossroad of residents, escape artists, dreamers and tourists alike. It’s rare to find a junction to meet at the crux as it were, but this takes it things up a notch.

The out door manages to hit me in the face on the way out, and while there is no sign of Godot or even his people, I manage to stagger back to my waiting glass of merlot. What’s it that say in ’Sideways “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving.”  Perhaps they saw me coming.

enVision Wine Bar www.envision-phuket.co.th

Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett is the Founder and Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, a leading hospitality consulting firm specializing in the Asia Pacific region, based in Phuket, Thailand. With over 25 years of "on the ground" experience within key and developing markets, he has considerable experience and the relevant background to draw from. In 1991 he was the first American hotel executive to manage a property in post war Vietnam. He attended executive education courses at Cornell University School of Hospitality Management and is currently a member of ISHC (International Society of Hospitality Consultants) and was awarded a prestigious PATA Gold Award in 2007. He has his own popular property columns in a leading tourism and property based newspaper Phuket Gazette and The Nation which is Thailand's Biggest Business Daily. In addition he's made appearances on CNBC, BBC, CNN and in international news and financial publications. His popular blog, thephuketinsider.com, is the authoritative source of all Phuket hotel and real estate issues and trends.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. lek lek Says:

    this place has amazing rums and is the only place I can find havana cigars. the vibe is good. folksy.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Kylie Batt Says:

    Хорошая подборочка спасибо!!! Скину парочку для своей колекции)))…

    Trapped halfway out the in door at Surin’s enVision Wine Bar I feel a bit like a character in Samuel […….

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