“It’s a drink that brings people together,” says Wine Connection.
Boasting over 18 years of experience in the wine industry of Southeast Asia, Wine Connection is a major player in wine retail markets of Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, with 75 outlets altogether in the three countries. Currently there are four Wine Connection outlets in Malaysia and recently Uppre had the privilege of witnessing the unveiling of the chain’s latest wine bar conveniently located in TREC KL.
Starting out as a small wine store in Bangkok in 1998, Wine Connection has now become the go-to place for aficionados and pedestrians alike, with each outlet hosting over 200 hand-picked labels of wines from all over the world. What makes the chain so special and successful, though, has to be the stringent selection process for wines to make the cut to be sold in store.
We go through a tender process which is very tedious and not emotional at all, so to speak,” explains Caroline Simon, the Group Head of Retail. “Every year we receive about 6,000 offers from suppliers and from those we take only about 10% for tasting. The tasting process itself is a marathon of sorts that lasts for only three days with members from our team across three countries present. We have two sessions for per day and we need to taste about 100 bottles per session. And from the three days we pick the number of labels that we need for that term.”
When asked of what the tasters specifically look for during the ‘marathon,’ Caroline says, “We do not only look for well-known brands that people understand but also wines with something special like having won awards, critical acclaims by wine critics or simply being unlike anything we’ve tasted before.”
Our first wine bar was in Singapore, with only a few tables. And then it grew because people loved it. They were coming after work, and then heading out to dinner because back then we weren’t serving food, and came back again after their meals.
Not limited to just its chain of wine shops and bars, Wine Connection also operates 40 F&B outlets integrated into its retail stores, offering a classic European food menu in lifestyle locations to an urban clientele.
“Our core business began with importing wines and retailing them to our own chain of stores. Soon after we started to develop wine bars but as it is always the case, just a wine bar is never enough because you can’t separate food from wine. So naturally when we had the space we expanded into F&B and now more than half of our outlets are integrated with restaurants.”
By opening its first wine bar in TREC, Wine Connection also aims to start a robust wine culture in Kuala Lumpur. “With wine, what is important is whether you enjoyed it or not. It’s not about worrying whether you should drink your red wine with red meat and white wine with your fish. Here at wine connection we just want people to try the wine and do what they want with it. We are not here to tell people this is the way or that is the way,” Caroline assures.
To view Wine Connection’s plethora of selection of wine and beers (yes, they have beers too), wine lovers can visit the online portal, www.wineconnection.com.my, or head to any of its retail outlets. The store also hosts weekly tasting sessions over the weekend and regular wine-maker events, so do follow them on Facebook for the latest information.
This festive season, wine lovers can enjoy free delivery from RM100 (usual Minimum Order is RM200) and a free gift (set of 2 Stemless Wine Glasses), upon their first online order, using the promo code: MYWineCo. This launch promotion is valid on the first 100 orders. So wait no more and browse the great collection of Champagnes, Old World and New World wines, as well as accessories and packaging. Find the perfect gifts for friends and family this Yuletide season, or just stock-up for the festive parties ahead!
Wine Connection, Southeast Asia’s largest wine boutique has finally opened its doors in Kuala Lumpur. Drop by for over 200 handpicked wine selections found nowhere else! #wineconnection #winecollection #wineboutique #wineretailer #wine #champagne #frenchwine #australianwine #spanishwine #newzealandwine #italianwine #argetinewine #southafricanwine #wineparty #trec #treckl #partyinKL #kualalumpur #upprelifestyle