In the heart of Kolding (DK), not far from Gabba’s headquarters, we stopped by one of our favourite places, where we occasionally go for a drink. The place is called “Vinbaren” (The Wine Bar). It’s known for its cocktails, wines and tastefully decorated boutique atmosphere. Here you can meet people over a drink, enjoy some light tapas and spend a very pleasant hour or so.
Frederik, who is the manager, invited us to enjoy a tasty glass of wine and a short conversation about wines, the Danish term ‘hygge’ – which roughly translates to a feeling of cosiness – and The Wine Bar spirit that has given the spot its great reputation.
What characterises The Wine Bar… and is it mostly about wine?
The wine bar is many things, and we do offer a lot of things other than wine. I often get asked what we’re best known for: Is it our cocktails? Our gin & tonic? Our wine? Our tapas or the service that we give to the people that come here? Actually, I think it’s a combination of all of these. We try to give people a good time here. All of the staff have been here for 2-3 years and we make a great effort to get to know our customers on a personal level. We often know what they do for a living, their taste in food and their favourite drink…
…We spend time with people and occasionally have a chat and a drink on the house. The personal approach is very important to all of us.
For us, the most fulfilling moment is when everyone has been served and you can feel the good mood that fills the bar, with happy faces, laughter and chilled music in the background. This is truly when everything falls into place. A wine bar is all about people having a good time – and that’s why people like to come and spend their time with us.
What is your background for managing the wine bar?
I really don’t have any special education or background for managing the wine bar – which is what in many ways makes it so special and different to come here.
You might expect to be served by a highly trained waiter who fills your glass in the proper manner, but here we tend to meet people on a more personal level. We often have a chat about taste and emotions before the customer selects the wine for the particular occasion...
…I grew up in a home where good wine was always a big part of every social gathering, so for me wine is a natural ingredient in life. I never thought that I’d be working in a bar, serving drinks for a living, but it all felt so natural to me when I started my afternoon job here while studying at the university many years ago. In fact, I soon dropped out of university, as I realised that life is about doing things that make you feel good and give you drive. For me, it’s not about getting a job that pays well so that I can inflate my bank account. I think you can be rich in many ways; and, for me, it’s about following my passion, socialising with people and of course enjoying good wine. I’ve realised that working at the wine bar has become a lifestyle for me – one that I enjoy enormously. Actually, the wine bar is the reason that I’ve begun studying again – not at university, but on a course, that will qualify me as a sommelier – a specialist in wine and wine stewardship.
Tell us about your own gin brand.
Because we like gin a lot and we have our own bar, we really wanted to produce our own gin. We know our clients and knew that we had to come up with something different that would match their tastes. It had to be a gin that is light, mild and not too strong in terms of alcohol; a gin that you can mix, but also drink straight. We contacted our local distillery and developed our own version of a tasty gin. We call it “Circus Gin”. It’s been very well received in our bar and we feel proud that we have our own gin brand. We hope that it says something about our dedication to taste and good quality.
If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, swing by “The Wine Bar”, have a sip of one of their sophisticated cocktails – shaken or stirred – and feel the cosy atmosphere. Frederik and his team of bartenders will serve you tasty tapas and one of the best drinks in town.
VISIT "VINBAREN" AT:
A L Passagen, 6000 Kolding
GET THE LOOK AS FREDERIK:
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