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.
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…..
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