Monica Liau (more chengdu)|
Paramount Wine Bar is a cozy venue tucked into a storefront along Tongzilin. Its walls are stocked top to bottom with red and white wines from all over the world. Like many other Chinese wine shops, fake grapes adorn dark cherry wood cabinets. The lighting and music is appropriately soft and inoffensive.
However, unlike those same shops, Paramount offers affordable, higher quality wines and 4 tables are set up to allow you to linger over your bottle of choice. Your wine is (might I add) offered back to you in proper wine goblets.
My wine drinking partner and I have sampled several bottles over the months, all red (they have whites stored in coolers). Quality varies almost exponentially to the amount you spend. One evening, feeling strapped for cash, we spent 20 RMB for a bottle of Australian wine. It was the type of red wine hangovers are made out of, astringent and thin. Our personal favorite is Long Paddock, an Australian Cabernet-Shiraz for 96 RMB. We buy it whenever we have an excuse to celebrate anything (birthday, anniversary, not burning dinner, etc…). It’s a wonderful, full-bodied wine with complicated warm wood flavors, little acidity, and a color indicative of a proper red wine. The two of us never have a problem finishing the bottle while talking and playing cards in the shop after dinner (or before dinner for that matter).
If you find yourself at Paramount, and it is too early to polish off a bottle of wine (i.e. before noon), treat yourself to a 6 RMB cup of espresso or an 8 RMB mug of Americano. The serving sizes are generous and the coffee is fresh ground. It’s an excellent excuse to cozy into a table and escape the gray Chengdu air for a little while.