One of the coolest places in Petaling Jaya to visit for fine wines in a relaxed setting is Happer, the wine bar located in Damansara Jaya.
The rise of haute cocktails and craft-beer bars may have once stolen wine’s thunder, but grape aficionados haven’t retreated into their cellars to sulk just yet. Instead, they’ve reinvented the wine bar.
Located in Damansara Jaya, this watering hole is incredibly popular with the folks who live in PJ. We have in fact been invited on several occasions, for numerous unique tastings such as the Cognac H. Mounier’s Prince Hubert de Polignac XO Royal Cognac, Choya Cocktail tasting night, Champagne tasting of Taittinger and also Matsu wines from Spain.
Happer’s wine cellar itself is quite a place to visit. With its straight-line aesthetics, it appears deceptively simple, but it is in fact quite well designed and houses a myriad of regular to unusual wines and spirits.
The modern lay out offer overall decreased bottle capacity over traditional individual bottle racks, but that being said, every cutout has been sized and shaped to accommodate the stacking of all the various bottle sizes, to ensure that no space is wasted.
I really love this modern cellar .. it’s something I would love to have in my home, but who wouldn’t? 😛
We finally managed to squeeze this one wine tasting session into our mid-week plans and were pleasantly surprised to find Happer a really fun place to hang out at.
Not only for wines. But for food too.
smoked duck with orange sauce and seasonal vegetables – smoky, unctuous and paired well with the Matsu wines..
Pepperoni pizza – nice and cheesy. The crust was too hard but otherwise it was nice enough.
Chicken roulade – wrapped in bacon, not much to complain about..
Siew Yoke is a must for wine pairing if you ask me.. I am just a huge fan of pork. Anyway, this siew yoke was a bit disappointing – hard and dry, we would have preferred a more succulent batch.
On to the wine tasting..
Matsu is a wine producer from the Toro region of Spain and the coolest thing about these wines are the labels. Made from Tempranillo grapes, the series of faces on the bottles are what makes you want to take a closer look.
Matsu wines sound more Japanese than anything, but we soon learned that Matsu, which in Japanese means “wait”, pays homage to all the wine-producers that have been working vineyards for generations and devoted their effort, knowledge, respect and sacrifice.
L-R :and Matsu El Viejo, Matsu El Recio and Matsu El Picaro
The images of the real-life wine-producers that decorate the bottle also represent the essence of each of the wines comprising this collection. Loved the faces on the bottles – some might consider the old man’s face a little dismal and depressing, but I liked it.
Matsu El Viejo .. powerful and complex! This wine was close to RM300 per bottle but retailed at RM250 for that night – another reason to visit Happer for wine tasting sessions as bottle go on one-off, discounted prices
El Picaro means ‘the rogue’ or cheeky one (vines 90 years old), El Recio means ‘the tough one’ (90-100 years) and El Viejo is most apparently, ‘the old one’ (vines 100+ years old) . If I was to pick a favourite it would be the Matsu El Viejo .. powerful and complex, offering smoky cigar and graphite aftertaste, also apparent were cherry and fruit – perfect with smoked duck or cheese.
At Happer, cocktails and dessert wines are a must too..
As the night winds to a close, we kick back with Margaritas and a Long Island or two..
Finally, the night ends on a high (and sweet) note, with the dessert wine, 1983 Toro Albala Don Pedro Ximenez Gran Reserva, and what a wine it was.
The 1983 Don PX Gran Reserva had been aged in old oak barrels until bottled in 2012, and was gorgeously complex. Dominant notes were tar, graphite, smoke, roasted coffee and dark chocolate. It was extremely concentrated, dense and sweet, but ended with delicious spicy, curry notes and lingered in the mouth for quite a bit of time. Sublime!
Well then, what can we tell you… If every type of tippler needs a clubhouse, Oenophiles have definiely found a hangout of their own, here at Happer.Follow us on Instagram : @ccfoodtravel
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No. 54, Jalan SS 22/25, Damansara Jaya,
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 011-1081 1012