C Wine & Bites @ Damansara Kim

November 29, 2017

Created by a wine lover, for wine lovers, this cosy den brings the cellars of De Toren, Dominio Romano and more to an intimate corner of Damansara Kim. C Wine & Bites' founder C.K. is a former accountant who swapped undertaking audits for understanding the world of wines, a passion made clear from the moment you step into this venue, filled with wine maps, barrels and shelves of bottles that C.K. has personally brought in, including boutique labels less often seen in the Klang Valley.

Browsing is one of C Wine & Bites' simple pleasures - everything is lined up in an orderly fashion, with Old World wines on one side and New on the other, systematically categorised further by country and price range. 

You'll start with the Australian and New Zealand vintages, before venturing into the vineyards of South Africa (hunt for The Goose, by Limpopo-born golfer-turned-vintner Retief Goosen), Chile (check out the TerraMater estate's An'yuzhual range, of which no more than 8,000 bottles are reputedly produced per year) and Argentina (the Casarena Icono 2012 may stand out, awarded 95 points by Robert Parker).

The rest of the selection remains engaging, with Lebanese (Chateau Musar) and Portuguese (Padre Pedro) wines sharing space with Italian, French and Spanish ones. C.K. handles the import of these himself, so it's well worth noting that prices here are significantly lower - by as much as one-third - compared to what you'll pay for the same bottles elsewhere in Malaysia.

Misha's Vineyard, in New Zealand's Central Otago region, is a prime example of how C.K. strives to spotlight labels that have a relatively low profile but plenty of personality. 

Misha's offerings (crafted by NZ winemaker Olly Masters) bear names like The High Note, The Soloist and The Starlet - a nod to the mother of label co-founder Misha Wilkinson's mother, who was an opera performer. 

Dress Circle is a Pinot Gris of graceful vivaciousness, meant to sing with notes of baked pear and brown sugar. Verismo heralds a Pinot Noir that's supple and sensuous, harmoniously layering crushed cherries with cedar spice, while the creamy finish of The Cadenza brings the curtain down with a Gewurztraminer's Old World charm, buoyed by the aroma of apricot.

The range at C Wine & Bites enables versatile experiences; you can, for example, spend a single session sweeping through the communes of Bordeaux, from Chateau Haut-Vigneau's lushly structured 2014 Pessac-Leognan to the rounded spiciness of Chateau Phelan-Segur's 2013 La Croix Bonis. It's easy to imagine spending many blissful evenings here, exploring and making fresh discoveries.

The 'Bites' component is represented by the efforts of a small but skilfully resourceful kitchen. The focus is on solid produce, prepared with well-tuned minimalism - while Iberico pork is now rampant across the city, not all cuts are created equal, and C Wine & Bites relies on the better ones, turned into skewers that satisfy for both flavour and juiciness (RM43).

The food menu might not be extensive, but there's enough to make for a complete meal, from munch-worthy snacks like spiced chicken wings (RM20 for four pieces) to warm bruschetta blanketed with sun-dried tomatoes and melted cheddar or tenderly roasted king mushrooms and truffle oil (RM15 for six slices) to protein-powered sharing platters of elegantly succulent Norwegian salmon (RM38), lamb rack (RM53; pre-ordering required) and beef striploin (RM79; pre-ordering required). And any feast bolstered by wine is best wrapped up with a sturdy selection of cheese.

Many thanks to the C Wine & Bites team for having us here.

C Wine & Bites
4A, First Floor, Jalan SS 20/10, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Open Tues-Sun, 6pm-12am. Tel: 012-893-0000

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