For the Love of Wine: Het Eigendom, Rotterdam
Those who enjoy an exquisite glass of wine, poured with know-how and minus the snobbery, may rejoice as they make their way to winebar Het Eigendom.
Housed in a historic 1940s building on the bustling Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam, the winebar is celebrating its one-year anniversary this November. From the very beginning, it has been a success.
When you enter the establishment, the interior has an air of sophisticated nonchalance which is reflected in its Gallic-inspired decor: tall ceilings highlighted by eye-catching chandeliers, black ornamental fencing, simple wooden tables with sturdy seating and wine box covers adorning the walls. Emphasising the height is a bordeaux red wall of wine which extends up to the second floor and adds character and elegance. We immediately feel at ease and sense that there are good things to come. Even before we’ve had the chance to experience what we’re here for — the wine.
On offer are 135 Old and New World varieties of which 35 can be ordered by the glass. We sample an impressive compilation of reds, whites, a delicate champagne and a dessert wine. Each is served in a proper wine glass, allowing its unique qualities to be enjoyed to the maximum. But it isn’t only the wine that makes Het Eigendom so special. We soon discover that it also boasts a kitchen so sensuously good it’ll make anyone go weak in the knees.
A selection of six heavenly small plates (approximately 20 are on offer) are artistically prepared by chef Etienne Kool and presented to accompany our wines. Highlights include the succulent Creuse oysters paired with a fine-bubbled Gosset champagne full of ripe fruit and with the slightest hint of cinnamon.
The Château du Seuil Graves Blanc 2010 is another winner. This understated white Bordeaux is produced from both Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes and has a crisp floral aroma with notes of fresh citrus and honey. It is served with a seasonal salad of pumpkin, beets and tomme de chèvre. A zingy lemon tart topped with a wafer-thin caramelised surface is served for dessert along with the aromatic Domaine des Baumard Vert de l’Or. We couldn’t have hoped for a more luxuriously gratifying ending.
It is evident that at Het Eigendom they have the art of marrying food and wine down pat, but another one of their merits is combining quality and passion with a down-to-earth, ‘anyone can enjoy wine’ approach. Forget the stuffy image of know-it-all connoisseurs and mysterious oenological jargon.
Here, each choice is explained clearly and concisely so that even wine novices will understand and appreciate what’s in their glass. Enough reasons to propose a toast, we think. Cheers!
Tip for the holiday season: The ‘Mijn Eigendom’ wine card can be credited with a value between € 25 and €200. It is available in a handy credit card size and can be purchased at either the bar or through the website — a perfect gift for both the seasoned wine drinker and the grape newbie.
Wijnbar Het Eigendom, Witte de Withstraat 45b, 010-4137962
Paola Westbeek is an American food and travel writer who has been living in Europe for over a decade. For more information, visit her blog: In My Life.
Photo credit Anastasia Malkin