For the last seven thousand years, the world has changed quite drastically. But, regardless of region or era, wine has persistently sustained its popularity. Throughout its existence, this delicious, luxurious beverage has been associated with classy events, lovers’ long night chats and broken hearts. Opening a wine bar, however, is not an easy thing; without the comfortable atmosphere, soul music and the right bottles, a wine bar can look boring or kitschy.
Gianaclis Wines, the leading wine-producers in Egypt, in collaboration with the manager of Deals Pub and Arabesque, celebrated the opening of the first wine bar in Egypt, suitably named Rouge.
Located on the first floor of the Swiss Inn Hotel in Mohandessen, the bar opened its doors for the first time to the small crowd of curious wine-lovers seeking the new hot spot to spend their nights. Small conversations started to spread between the people attending the inauguration while a harp player plucked her strings softly, adding a touch of style to the atmosphere.
In spirit of the bar’s name, the interior designer filled the place with tastefully installed red lights, red tables and red carpets, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. The lights, however, resemble the chandeliers of Arabesque. But instead of the big lights enhanced with empty bottles of beer, Rouge bar had empty classes of wine hanging on the surrounding lights. That was easily detected by seasoned visitors of Arabesque who joked around about the similarities.
The place, however, is extremely small to the point you may feel claustrophobic at times. There are only four or five tables on the premises in an effort to prevent eavesdropping neighbors from entering your intimate conversations. With the crowd holding conversations and glasses of wine all over the place, navigating the bar was also a bit of a hassle.
Bringing their best bottles of wine to the event, everybody got buzzed with the sophisticated brands of wine that you might not see on the Egyptian market. Yet, Layla, Zaman and Ayam were on display and waiters roamed the bar holding the bottles and waiting for your request for a fill. The sparkling wine, Ayda, was a highlight among these brands. The product effectively set the mood of the bar, creating a placid ambiance.
Finger food, garnished with lovely sauces, was served on plates carried by waiters, including sushi, shrimp and spring rolls. The sushi was a highlight–like always. The question, however, is if these food items will be presented on the menu of the bar regularly or not?
Was the event successful? That's another interesting question. The bar was welcoming and the event entertaining. The staff were extremely helpful, the alcohol was nice, and the food pleasant. As one of the attendees pointed out, any new high end bar opening in Cairo is good news, but Rouge, with its location in the heart of the busy Mohandessen and its tiny venue, will stand the challenge of becoming a hot spot.
Many aspects of this venue promise success, but that only can be told with time.
Address: 7 Midan al-Heggaz, Monhandessen, located in the Swiss Inn Hotel