New Wines in Thailand
Barbara, Julie, Robb, Gill,
Trevor and Kittipong. (M.D. V & K Group)
“A Rose between...” Mohamad,
Tom, Yupha, Frank and Ian at
the Sira Boutique Hotel wine tasting.
Teerapong, David and Clare
sampling the wines on offer.
Grahame (back to the beer)
with Rick and Graham enjoying the evening
at the Sira Boutique Hotel.
Kittipong with Parichat and
Rachel sampling the new Corinto Selection.
Last week the V & K Intergroup Co. Ltd., along with
Darling Wine Bar and Wineways, got together at the Sira Boutique Hotel on
Sriphoon Road to introduce the new Corinto Selection of wines. Yet again,
Chiang Mai was chosen to launch this exciting new range of wines rather than
Bangkok; maybe because there seems to be a larger number of wine
connoisseurs pro rata here than in other Thai cities. Also on offer was the
‘Cassegrain’ Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot, which is the top selling wine
in Thailand. Trevor Dobson from Wineways, along with his delightful wife
Gill, owner of the Darling Wine Bar, was on hand to give expert advice;
having had many years in the business. The regular suspects lined up on this
particular night along with a few extras such as Grahame from The Pub - it
makes a change for him to be seen holding a wine glass rather than a beer
mug! Robb and Julie Hind from the Sira Boutique Hotel made it a delightful
event for all with their usual charm.
“Der Rosenkavalier” enjoyed by
The Grand Opera Society Chiang Mai
Angelique, Manus and Annelie (kneeling).
Tony, Bill, Howard, Chris, Fred, Marjie, Boy, Milt, Joyce, Gisela,
Aileen, John, and Gosun (standing).
Earlier this month on 8th January, the Grand Opera Society held its
first meeting of the 2008 season. Sixteen lucky members were enthralled
with “Der Rosenkavalier”, the touching operatic love story by the famous
early 20th century composer Richard Strauss.
It is planned to hold a meeting/performance every alternate Tuesday at
Rimping Condo at 7 pm. The chosen opera will be announced a few days in
advance. The first 25 people who reply in the affirmative will be
invited to come along, bringing with them food and drink to share for an
interval buffet supper.
There are currently 85 people registered with the Opera Society,
although many are not in town at present. People do not have to be
fulltime residents in Chiang Mai to be on the register. If you’d like to
be included, please contact Dr Howard Graves on [email protected]
Dr Graves would also like to form a “Ballet Society of Chiang Mai”,
sometime in the future. If you are interested, please contact him on the
above email for further details.
Fine French Wines and Food
Pictured from left are Joon (Horeca), Pascal
and David Bouton from Rayong.
Out of respect for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, the planned Horeca
function to introduce some of the very best French wines and food to
Chiang Mai was low key.
The get together with some nice delicatessen and great French wines was
held at Chez Gibus on Kampaengdin Road and attracted many of the town’s
top chefs. Horeca provides food and wine to all the top four and five
star hotels in Northern Thailand.
For those triva buff’s - Chapoutier is the only wine in the world with
the label in Braille!
A story that has to be told
Rose and Mike Dean
We returned home from a riverside restaurant last night by
songtaew after the usual haggle to get the price down from 200 baht to
100 baht. The driver picked up another fare en route to our condominium.
We were dropped off and the 100 baht fare duly handed to the driver’s
mate, just as the songtaew pulled off to discharge the remaining
passenger. We strolled the 50 or so metres to our building, entered,
passed through the security enclosure and were at the door of our 11th
floor apartment, when the second elevator brought up our security guard
and the songtaew driver, who was holding the 100 baht note in his hand.
Neither of these two was able to converse in English. The word “friend”
kept repeating itself. Regrettably our Thai language skills were
Our immediate grasp of the situation was that the driver was pursuing us
for a further 100 baht and was suggesting that the agreed price was per
person! Following us all the way up to our apartment would certainly
have indicated this, we thought. And yet, there was no anger, no anxiety
in the seemingly benign and, indeed, otherwise pleasant conversation and
its unsuccessful translation. The security guard then took the 100 baht
note from the driver and placed it in my hands.
Our next grasp of the situation was that this might be the ultimate
rudeness, in that the driver was telling us that he could live without
our paltry offering of only 100 baht and was returning it. The whole
episode was becoming extremely perplexing.
To resolve matters we decided to all go downstairs and get a translation
of this bewildering conversation. Here’s the most amazing explanation.
Whilst the price was being negotiated through the passenger side window,
one of the party with whom we had shared dinner (explaining the
frequently used term “friend”) had paid the 100 baht to the driver
through the driver’s window.
The rest of the story follows. We were dropped off. Our payment of the
agreed 100 baht was handed to the driver’s mate. The driver was
preoccupied with watching the traffic as he was pulling out to proceed
to drop off his remaining fare. The driver’s mate showed the driver the
100 baht note we had just paid. The driver obviously could not live with
this unfairly received gain and after dropping off his fare returned to
our condo to return the money.
Now we hear and read so many stories about why things aren’t always
right in Chiang Mai, and we can whinge and “bleat”, ad nauseam about the
conditions in the city, but here is a true-life account of the heart and
the spirit of its people.
Take a moment to think about it, then ask yourselves the question,
“Where else would this happen? “. Then, thank God, we live in this
wonderful place with such wonderful people as our hosts.
We’re only sorry we never knew that stranger’s name or his vehicle
registration number. But we are connected - for ever! If “making merit”
was important for him he made enough for the world last night.