Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wine tasting @ Amuse Wine Bar (inspiration design center)

Amuse wine bar is situated in the Honolulu Design Center on Kapiolani Boulevard. It's a bit strange walking through the furniture store past the $2,000 coffee tables on your way to a bar, but hey, they found a great space.

The highlight of Amuse is the wine tasting machines. You put a dollar amount on a stored value card (kinda like Dave & Busters), stick your card into any of the 4 wine tasting machines, and taste away! Each wine shows a price above, the cost of a 1 oz. taste. They ranged from $1 to almost $20 a taste (I think that was the Opus One). It was a little hard to tell what some of the wines are, since you can only see the front of the label, and there isn't any other signage (except for the Robert Parker 95+ pt wines) to identify what you are drinking, what type of grape it is, or where it is from.

Hopefully you like red wines, because only about 10 of the ~70 or 80 wines available are white.

Highlights of the tasting machines last night were:
  • Warwick Pinotage (South Africa). Not sure how much this is selling for at Amuse, but I priced it online for around $17 a bottle. Pinotage is a red grape specific to South Africa; it's a medium bodied red, pretty fruity on the palate

  • A Brunello (Italy--I have to check what the name was). According to the book on wines I read, Brunello is both a region in Italy and a grape varietal, somewhat related to sangiovese and nebbiolo. This was a splurge ($6 a taste) so I don't think I could afford a bottle, but it was impressive. Silky smooth with a bite from the tannins but not acidic at all. This was in the special Robert Parker 95-99 pt section, it scored 95 pts from him.

A tip: we went on a Saturday, so had to pay full value for our wine tasting machine card. BUT if you go btw 5 - 8 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, you can get $50 value for just $30!

Amuse wine bar
Honolulu Design Ctr
1250 Kapiolani Blvd, 2f

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