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feargal Jan 15th, 2006 05:58 AM

Wine and other spirits
I've read on this forum that wine and other spirits are expensive in Thailand (compared to everything else). Are they more expensive than in the states? My other question is, are they readily available? Specifically, we would like to purchase Pinot Grigio white wine, vodka and coconut rum. Can you easily purchase these in Bangkok and Phuket? Thanks.

rhkkmk Jan 15th, 2006 06:13 AM

they are available --not sure about the coconut rum as such but the others are....a bottle of PG that you might buy in the states for $15 will be $30 in thailand...

average glass of wine is $6-8 in bangkok---about the same as usa, but many were $10-12 and this is only average wine...we have not had hard drinks...there are exceptions to these costs of course, but generally spirits are very expensive and sometimes of questionable quality...

there has been a huge push for consumption of wine at restaurants in the last 5 years....prior to this wine was not always offered....they see the potential profit available from it..

feargal Jan 15th, 2006 06:01 PM

Do you buy wine & spirits in liquor stores? Are these stores easy to find in Thailand? Can you just buy some in duty free at the airport when you land?

What do they make drinks with at the beach? I mean they make pina colodas and other tropical daquiries with vodka or rum, right?

rhkkmk Jan 15th, 2006 06:08 PM

booze is available in many place in stores and convenience shops often have a supply....

beach drinks can be anything including thai whiskey...

Kathie Jan 15th, 2006 06:31 PM

You can order drinks wherever you go in Thailand, and they will be made with the same spirits they would be made with elsewhere. Drinks are about the cost of drinks at hotels and resorts in the US, therefore relatively expensive in terms of what things cost in Thailand.

In terms of wine, if you are satisfied with a low-cost pinot grigio, you can find it in Thailand. It will be twice the price of wine in the US, and it's harder to find good wines in Thailand. You can bring a couple of bottles of wine into Thailand with you if you would like. If you are a wine fancier, you will be disappointed with the availability of good wines in Bangkok and appalled at the prices.

Lyndie Jan 15th, 2006 10:12 PM

Wine is expensive at BKK airport. It is much cheaper with far more variety at Siam Paragon's liquor store on the ground floor and at Villa Supermarket, in several locations in BKK. One is near Soi 33 (I think) anyway close by the Novotel Lotus' soi. We often buy duck slices to go and sit and enjoy a fine Chilean Red watching the city lights of BKK, from our room. Not sure about Phuket. All the best.

JamesA Jan 16th, 2006 12:54 AM

I am no wine expert at all though I do sometimes like a glass of wine, this is what we pay from local liquor stores / supermarkets to give you an idea:

Basic low cost French / Chile wines from about USD 10.50 a bottle

2.5 liters of Italian table wine about USD 9 a bottle

A bottle of good quality Australian Jacons creek wine about USD 21 a bottle.

Bottle of Imported Finland Vodka about USD 12, vodkas from other locations from about USD 7

It goes roughly the same for rum etc, the quality imprted around the USD 12-14 range and for less well known imorted Jamaican Rum about USD 7-8 a bottle.

House wine per glass varies, I would expect to pay USD 2.50 to 3.50 for a glass but it foes shoot up in higher class restaurants / hotels.

laurieco Jan 16th, 2006 06:07 AM

If there's something you really like, bring it from home, you can bring one bottle per person into Thailand. We drink champagne and brought it from home but I saw some bottles at JFK duty free of Dom Perignon 1996 for $110 and Moet & Chandon for $25, which is a super price. I normally pay $45 plus tax for the same thing. Not all duty free shops are created equal though and some smaller terminals have poor selections.

The prices James gives aren't too bad. In NY, I pay between $10 and $12 for a decent bottle of Jacob's Creek so $20 in Thailand is pretty good for something that is very drinkable.

JamesA Jan 16th, 2006 06:51 AM

Actualy I can be a bit more exact, Australian Hardy's Shiraz ( 2002 ) USD 12.25 , Californian Cutler Creek Chardonnay ( 2001 ) USD 12, Bouchon Classe ( 2000 ) USD 8.25, South African Robert Rock Chardonnay USD 10.75, SA Laborie Cabernet Sauvignon USD 16.

Champagne is the thing that is real expensive so if you stop at a Duty Free on your way then Champagne is the thing to buy.

laurieco Jan 16th, 2006 06:58 AM

James, what is the name of this shop with the good prices? Is it in BKK? If so, can you give me the address? The two bottles we bring don't last long (about 2 days to be exact!) so it would be nice to have a place to buy some more when the supply runs out.

JamesA Jan 16th, 2006 07:07 AM

Those prices should be fairly standard, it's just the retail price list from a local wine/liquor store in Jomtien I had for getting in drinks at Christmas, their prices are about the same as any Lotus or similar supermarket, we did buy some wine from Lotus and I remember noting it was about the same, so just head to any Lotus or similar supermarket and you should find a reasonable choice.
Also note that many restaurants work the 'corkage' system, you will have seen so many people taking their Black label or Chivas bottles into restaurants, same works for wine, though certainly not all and probably the classier restaurants might not, it's usualy a few hundred baht but compared to some of the wine prices, I have seen prices in the thousands so worth checking.
Champagne is the one though, USD 80 cheapest I could find on offer.

laurieco Jan 16th, 2006 07:10 AM

thanks for the info James. In restaurants we don't mind drinking beer, it goes so well with Thai food, better than wine imo, but when relaxing in our hotel room, we do enjoy having a few glasses of wine.

hawaiiantraveler Jan 20th, 2006 09:44 AM

Let me know what kind of specific wines you like and I'll try and look and price for you when we go to bkk next month in some grocery and liquor stores. I'm on a quest to find some decent prices on wines outside of the restaurants in bkk this time around. I'll report when I get back.

Bonita Jan 20th, 2006 10:02 AM

gREETINGS from Bkk1! I just thought to chime in my two cents! I buy wine in Bkk always from the various supermarkets,such as Tops, The MARKET pLACE, tESCO, lotus, etc, etc! Here U CAN find a variety of French, Califronia, Chilean, Argentina, Austrailan, etc, at okay prices! There is also a wine shop ONLy off Silom road near (sala Daeng) BTS on soi Convent..Forget the name exactly but has alot of varfiety and it right at the cornber of Silom and soi Convent!!!!Great variety and good prices there, alot of ITALIAN!!! aLSO, Good wine selection in the supermarket at Emprioum Department Store and also in the NEW Siam Paragon LOWER LEVEL SUPERMARKET!!! easy drinking..bonita/ in Bangkok the JACOB cREEK cHARDONNEY is very popular and i am drinking it this second..! it goes for about $14 dollors in the local supermarket..easy drinking-sawadeeka! bonita.

cruisinred Jan 20th, 2006 10:13 AM

Ok, now for us martini drinkers....can one also buy vodka at the various outlets mentioned for wine?

kuranosuke Jan 20th, 2006 10:27 AM

you can buy vodka almost anywhere. the price for the finlandia($12-$15), is an excellent price. i went to the villa market on suk around soi 2-3, and saw a bottle of robert modavi chard for $42. i get this at home for under $9.

when you arr in bangkok, go to the duty free store and buy the ciroc vodka. one of the best i tasted(who am i kidding, never met a vodka i didn't like). its about $35 for a liter.

if you are in the suk area, the foodland market around soi 5 has good prices on wines, so does the big c. lots of 2 for 1 specials.

laurieco Jan 20th, 2006 01:03 PM

hawaiiantraveler, thanks for looking into this. We like Australian wines, reds more than whites. Lindemans is good, especially their Bin 45. An Aussie white that we like a lot is Jacob's Creek Chardonnay, it's a sparkling wine and when we don't feel like spending $50 on champagne, it's a good substitute, quite dry. We get it here in the States for about $10 a bottle. We just bought a case of it but alas, it's almost gone. I think we'll bring the French champagne with us though since that's expensive there. If you find otherwise, please tell!

hawaiiantraveler Jan 20th, 2006 02:47 PM

I knew you'd know where to go :)

Walter_Walltotti Jan 21st, 2006 01:07 AM

CW with England the prices in Thailand for wine seem v v v expensive - that has to be a first!!

Jacobs Creek in the UK can be bought for about £5 and Hardy's for about £4.50 in a supermarket.

Heaven knowns how much I'd have to pay for a Wolf Blass Yellow label Cab Sauv in Thailand!

I just try and stay off wine whilst in Thailand or if I can carry the weight I'll bring my own.

For spirits, I find it quite useful to transit through some where like Kuala Lumpur where there are some real bargains to be has at the airport.

Bonita Jan 22nd, 2006 06:46 AM

Sawadeeka..Was out at the Villa Supermarket yesterday across from the Emporium mall on sukhumvit and they had quite a good wine selection and many so-called Specials! Also, i wrote earlier about a wine-only store on soi convent/Silom. It is called the wine Connection and there is another outlet on Sukumvit near Nana. there have a good selection at so-called wholesale prices.! happy drinking and sawadeeka.

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