When you think of Vietnam, you probably don’t think of vineyards and wine. That scene belongs in Italy, France, California, etc. Right? Actually, that’s not true. The wine scene is growing in Vietnam and these days you can find both imported and local wines. And if you think about it, Vietnam was influenced by France during their time there, so it’s no wonder that wine is one of the influences that sticked around.
But even before the French colonized Vietnam, the locals were growing grapevines for ornamental purposes and for shade. But it wasn’t until the French came here that they grew grapes that could be used for winemaking. By introducing foreign grapes to the region, using modern winemaking techniques and machines, the Vietnamese started their wine production. You’ll find most of the country’s vineyards higher up in the mountains in the Ba Vi mountain range and by the highlands near Phang Rang, Annamite Range and Ninh Thuan.
Although beer is still the most consumed drink in Vietnam, due to its accessibility and affordability, it might change in the future. With the country welcoming millions of foreigners each year, it’s bound to have an affect on the country’s culture as well. People from all over the world are crazy about wine and not everyone loves beer, so what better way than to start introducing alternative beverages. Here are some of the country’s biggest wine producers and where you can find them:
Ladofoods – Mostly famous for selling Dalat White and Red Wines, whom have become widely popular. The wine holds international standard, much thanks to its French and Italian winemaking techniques and technologies.
Halico – They’re one of the top producers of wine in Vietnam and also goes under the name Hanoi Liquor Company. Although the company is only focused on producing sparkling wine and light grape, they are planning on expanding in the wine market, so be prepared for even more tasty wine.
Thang Long Liquor Company – Their presence reaches from north to southern regions in Vietnam, but it’s in Ninh Thuan Province where you’ll find their main manufacturing facility.
One of the most popular wines you can find in Vietnam is the Vang Dalat (Red Wine). You’ll get used to this name soon since it’s one of the more well-known brands as well. It has a sharp flavor, with a bit of an acidic flavor. What’s so good about this wine is that it’s affordable as well, so even if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be able to enjoy this fine wine.
There are several wine bars and restaurants spread across the country. Most of them are in the bigger cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but you can also find some in the smaller towns such as Hoi An. Here are some of the most popular wine bars in Vietnam:
1. Colette’s 32 Wine & Bistro in Hanoi
This cozy, modern wine bar is both a hit amongst locals and foreigners. If you’re looking for a place with a wide range of wine, you can find it here in Colette’s. Besides tasting wine, you can also get some lighter food to go with the wine. It’s the perfect place to go to with your friends, family or a loved one. There’s the occasional live band shows as well, so make sure that you keep yourself updated on their website to find out when you can catch a show. It truly is one of the best places to eat and drink in Hanoi.
2. Wine Embassy, Ho Chi Minh City
This sophisticated wine bar is located in Vietnam’s biggest city. Although there are few wine bars in Ho Chi Minh City, the scene is growing and you can still find some hidden gems like these. Not only can you get great wine here, it also comes with a good price. There’s a wide range of different wines, delicious snacks and a great atmosphere, which will make you want to stay for hours and hours. Must not be missed when in Ho Chi Minh City!
3. White Marble Wine Bar and Restaurant, Hoi An
Located in the charming, quaint town of Hoi An, this wine bar is one of the most popular meeting places for tourists and expats. They offer a tapas menu, a broad wine selection and an open, airy bar where you can sit back and relax after having explored the town. You can get both international and local cuisine here, and a glass of wine costs about 6 dollars.
If you haven’t gotten your Vietnam visa yet, it’s time that you apply for one. You can either get it through your local or nearest Vietnam Embassy or acquire it online. You have two options then: Visa on Arrival or get an E-Visa. However, the E-Visa is not eligible for everyone, it’s only available for 40 countries in the world.