After some antipasti and an Aperol spritz in Taste of Emilia on Liffey St. last Saturday night, I headed to Bagots Hutton Wine Emporium– a new wine bar which has created some buzz on the Dublin nightlife scene. As soon as I walked downstairs, I was confronted with a wall of sound from the chatter of the hip crowd huddled around the bar like emperor penguins sheltering from the beats being pumped out by the resident DJ.
We quickly found a table and were given the wine menu which I was delighted to see was predominantly focussed on old world wines – Bagots Hutton also serves small plates of antipasti and the like. We ordered glasses of Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2010 and Vigneti Del Vulture Pipoli Aglianico del Vulture 2009 (despite the illiteration in my title, there was sadly no Dolcetto). While we waited for our drinks, I fought through the manbags and Manolos to peek into the back room which was heaving with partygoers not drinking Jager bombs, cocktails or indeed those lamentable quarter bottles of plonk…but shock horror…decent wine served in proper wine glasses. Whatever had the world come to?
At this point it’s probably worth explaining that on the Saturday night that I visited at least, Bagots Hutton was not the place to go if you wanted to enjoy a quiet bottle of wine and reminisce with an old friend – unless your old friend was a fan of French house and electro of course – then you’d have been in the right place. I’m pretty sure that if the proprietors had decided to put in a dance floor, it would’ve fit right in.
The list had 20 reds, 12 whites, two sparklers, one beer and one cider. All but three of the wines were available by the glass and most came in around the €7-€9 mark or €28-30 by the bottle. It was a list seemingly focused on reliability rather than rarity or excitement but in my opinion any list that gives pride of place to Albarino and Aglianico over Pinot Grigio and mundane Merlot should be applauded on principle alone. The traditional varieties were still there of course but the discerning drinker was certainly afforded ample choice.
The one minor glitch of the evening came when I wanted to try the San Gervais Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2006 but found out that it was one of the three wines that weren’t available by the glass. Unprompted, the waiter, who incidentally was working his first shift, suggested an alternative reportedly from the same grape variety– Le Salare Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009. The “Montepulciano misunderstanding”, as I have come to call it, has without question been made in wine bars and restaurants the world over and given the night that was in it, I was inclined to chalk this down to first shift nerves and I admired the effort to at least offer me a similar alternative.
On Saturday night’s evidence, Bagots Hutton will certainly be a go to place for both the wine aficionados and boulevardiers of Dublin alike. The combination of good wine and a true bar setting makes for a great addition to the local wine scene and it’s definitely somewhere I’ll be heading back to in the near future.