Somm Wine Gallery

What: A new Bordeaux, by-the-glass wine bar in the French Concession
Where: 2/F, 284 Anfu Lu, near Wukang Lu
Why: For a cosy environment, awesome pours and lessons on Bordeaux wine

If there were an award for the most well-thought through concept for a Shanghai wine bar, Somm Wine Gallery would be a strong contender for the golden glass. Nestled in the heart of the French Concession, Somm Wine Gallery features Bordeaux wine imported from France and owners with a passionate background for French wine.

Somm is named after the French word “sommelier”. Owned by cousins Kelvin Ko and Cruise Gao, Somm takes you on a journey through the reserves of Bordeaux’s finest wines and stories as to why the wines were picked for their wine menu.

Because the wines are hand-selected, Ko and Gao have tall tales behind every bottle. The décor at Somm reminds us of a friendly gallery, with bottles of wine lining the  walls, gallery exhibition-style. French-style windows allow daylight to pour in through the space and over the modern furniture, vintage Bordeaux vineyards posters and a bookcase stuffed full of wine reading. Somm also has a private room with sofas for a more intimate setting.

The heart of Somm's by-the-glass concept lies in wine education. You can either select your own wines from the standard menu or plump for their tasting menu, which features five themes: White Wines, The Evolution, Drops Of God, Garage Wine and Best Of 2009. Each flight consists of five wines, priced at RMB 200.

For our flight, we tried a selection of wines from across the menu but our favourite wine of the evening was the Château de Fargues 1999, a dessert wine. It was fruity, floral and flirty. The perfect way to wind down on a long summer night.

Somm provides customers with little tags to go along with each wine they serve and a passport-like book to record their travels through the wine region. Personalised touches such as this are what will keep us going back for more.