To say humanity as a whole loves alcohol is an understatement. It’s not just us either, many different species have been spotted searching out rotting fruit with it’s sugars having been converted to alcohol. Wine especially has been a long-time favorite with evidence of purposeful winemaking dating back to 6000 BC in Europe. People’s affinity for wine has long since broken through European borders with vineyards popping up almost anywhere with a conducive climate – even Thailand!
While Thailand does have a handful of wineries, the vast majority is imported. Not that long ago wine was a scarce luxury in Phuket available only in a few specialty locations at high prices. Now, in 2022, a vast collection of labels from all over the world are readily available all over the island, even at 7-11s! The world’s thirst for wine is undeniable with the drink’s global market share more than doubling in the past ten years. The variety and amount of wine available in Phuket nowadays reflects this increase with wine’s market share in the country expected to increase more than 7 percent per year.
Anyone who has perused the wine selection may initially suffer a bit of sticker shock. Thanks to high fees attributed to importation, wine’s value for money in Thailand is not so great to say the least. In other words, you will spend way more for the same bottle in Thailand compared to many other countries. Depending on which country the bottle comes from, once all of the taxes, duties, etc. are added up, you could be facing a 400 percent markup. Due to trade agreements, wines from certain countries like Australia are of better value.
Mom Tri’s restaurant | Cr: TripAdvisor Mom Tri's Kitchen at Villa Royale
When it comes to finding a nice glass of wine to enjoy with dinner at a restaurant, it would probably be easier to list the ones which don’t offer wine. However, if you take your fermented grapes seriously, there are few places that are held in high regard. Mom Tri’s restaurant in Kata Noi has an enormous wine selection as well as an in-house sommelier and often hosts special multi-course dinners with wine pairings. The Boathouse in Kata is also notable with more than 300 labels awaiting uncorking. Baan Rim Pa in Patong has been the recipient of a Wine Spectator award every year since 2002.
Wine Connection | Cr: phukky.com
When it comes to stocking your own wine cellar (or equivalent), once again you are faced with many options. The various Makro locations around the island have a limited selection, while Villa Market steps it up a notch. The Central Wine Cellar at Central Festival sports more than 450 brands, and the Wine Connection franchises offer a modest, curated collection.
Italasia | Cr: www.italasiaphuket.com
It’s not difficult to find a bottle for the evening’s meal, but those who like to keep a good selection on hand can check out one of the several wholesalers on the island. Minimum purchase amounts can be a limiting factor, but many wine lovers join forces with some of their ilk in order to get the best prices. A few well-established wholesalers include Italasia, Global Wines, and the Wine Gallery.