Celebrity bar hopping – Knowing or Showing

Yuh have Black Tower?

On the other scale from the neighbourhood bars and rumshops exists a new phenomenon, for Trinidad at least, the wine bar. These are places where the unbelievably hip can sit around with their friends delicately clinking their glasses together and appearing far to sophisticated for words. It is almost painful to experience this level of pervasive coolness. If you not here it seems to say, you are square. Now Trinidad has never quite been seen as a nation of wine connoisseurs, we make some of the world’s finest rums; our beer is a Carib (or Stag they’re all made by the same people anyway). For many years wine was synonymous in the minds of the general populace as Charlie’s Red Spanish Wine or the ubiquitous German Black Tower, the wine in the black bottle, what else. Surely we’ve always had those who appreciate the pleasures of a good glass of vino, Mr. Fernandes used to have one of the most comprehensive cellars I’m told, there’s always been an appreciable selection in the supermarkets and in various wine shops but part of the general lime, nope.

Truthfully, most of the good wine was found as diplomatic do’s, ex-pat homes and private houses, for the most part, wine found in most restaurants and bars here is glorified salad dressing. Few people other than Joe Brown talked about marrying the flavours of food and wine. But Trinis love a new thing, we embrace the novelty value for the time it takes for us to be seen at the venue or event before moving on the next big thing. The latest phone, the hottest car, the newest watering hole, why not a wine bar with the promise of snob value.

A visiting trained sommelier went to one of these bars one night and was amazed at the selection and even more blown away by the prices. He spent an enormous amount of time perusing the selection on offer though it didn’t seem to the rest of us that there was that much to look at. Oh my gosh, did this mean we’d been doing it all wrong? After much pursing of lips and hmmm, he picked a bottle and then winced as it was presented. Now this was behaviour that had previously not been seen since said person was quite game to drive to Maracas for bake and shark and ting. He sipped, swirled and then pronounced it acceptable. The server left and then he explained, most of the very expensive wine on offer was the stuff that was poured as house wine. He was appalled at the prices for what he considered nothing more than stuff to dress a salad with, just short of vinegar.Quite eye opening, especially since the other patrons were plunking their money down and posing artistically in their chairs, hands clasped round their glasses effectively warming up their drink. Women artfully flicked their hair as their escorts slumped into chairs, lots of air-kissing and exclamations. It was too wonderful. In the ensuing months several more wine bars have opened and the crowds dutifully swirl from one to another, many of the same faces to be seen. As with all our other types of bars you sure cannot beat this scene for the entertainment value! – Natasha

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