Photo by Nicholas Deroose
It was 8pm on a Thursday night and we were dying for a place that would give us a buzz to last into the weekend – yes, we’re alcoholics like that. Luckily, located conveniently on Fumin Lu and Julu Lu was the prescription for our needs: Dr. Wine.
The first level of the two-story building is adorned with plush leather couches set in low lighting and a bar opposite, with a second level with more seating options. Generally, the coziness of the place makes it great for hanging with friends over a bottle after a long day at work. However, there was a minor architectural flaw – there isn’t a bathroom located on the first floor and getting up to the second to relieve yourself after a couple of glasses of wine can feel akin to scaling a small mountain.
The prices as advertised were pretty decent, with a glass starting from 40RMB and bottles for around 200RMB, depending on the vintage. We sampled a glass of the South African Paarl Heithts (40 RMB) which was light and not too dry, perfect if you want just one glass after a heavy meal.
We also ordered the chocolate fondant (38RMB) to share – we were served a chocolate cake with a warm center on a long plate and with just a few measly pieces of strawberry. It was fine, but nothing to write home about.
Our duo became a threesome when another one of our friends joined us after work and we picked out a bottle of Prosecco Bel Star (190RMB), a sparkling wine akin to light champagne, to share. The wine was enjoyable but our moods were slightly dampened when before opening the bottle the waiter leaned in and said: “Just to let you know the bottle is 190RMB.”
Excuse me!? Our eyebrows were all slightly raised by now. Why in the world would they want to repeat the price to us?! It is clearly stated on the menu. Are you telling us we can’t afford a 190RMB bottle of wine? Not the smartest customer service.
We later found out it was because they do not accept credit cards. What sort of establishment whose goal is to get people drunk would want them to worry about whether they have enough cash on them or not? Dr Wine maybe the master of vintages but it clearly needs a better business manager.
Dr. Wine is located at 177 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu 富民路177号, Telephone number: 54035717