Terroir Wine Bar
30, JingCheng Rd, Xitun Dist
Hours: 2-10:30 pm, Fri-Sat 2-11 pm (closed Tue)
The common image of a wine bar is a subdued, upscale place with a handful of patrons quietly savoring their drinks. Terroir Wine Bar can certainly fill that role but also keeps things lively and interesting with frequent events that include multi-course wine dinners, wine-food pairing events, special classes, happy hour offers (see pages 10-11), and a host of other specials.
The two owners, Casey Sams from the US state of Iowa and Leo from the Champagne region of France, took over late last year after the original French owner left Taiwan, and proceeded to expand on an already-excellent reputation. Today, Terroir offers about 175 different wines which, according to winesearcher.com, is the biggest selection of any Taichung wine shop. Most are unique to the shop and not found elsewhere, including Old World wines from France (still over 50% of the choices), Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and elsewhere, and New World labels from places like South Africa and even Japan. The knowledgeable owners and staff are always happy to help you find something to fit your tastes.
Any purchased bottle can also be enjoyed on the premises, at the bar or comfy tables and seats. There are four by-the-glass options--NT$150 standard wines and NT$200-250 premium wines--and various food choices like the constantly-changing meat-and-cheese plates (NT$150 per portion) that can be customized to your preference from Terroir's top-quality locally-handmade meats and cheeses, plus a daily set special (NT$290), bread, olives and weekly NT$290 "flights" featuring three small glasses of wine paired to cheeses, meats and other items. If you're accompanying a wine drinker but not one yourself, there are quality beers from Spain and Belgium (NT$180), Italian Baladin craft beers (NT$240; 750 ml NT$600) and carbonated drinks.
Casey's nine years of experience as a chef has also led to regular multi-course country/region themed wine dinners (NT$990-1190) that usually combine his cooking with a local partner restaurant's. Other NT$490-590 pairing events feature a single dish with a couple glasses, and a 2-5 p.m. Sunday brunch (NT$290-340) with champagne mimosas is being introduced.