Divin bar and winebook

Tonight I am going to celebrate my birthday with a great glass of wine at Antwerp's new winebar Divin. A few weeks ago I was invited to the opening and even though it was only midday you could already feel the good wine vibes here. It's the kind of place you would stumble upon in Paris, but quelle chance, it is in my hometown Antwerp!

The bar is owned by Iranian born Sepideh Sedaghatnia, a super stylish woman with an infectious passion and enthusiasm for wine and food. Sepi, we are in love with your wines but also with your dress, wow!
Sepideh is one of Belgium's top sommeliers with a resumé that impresses. She worked at a Michelin star restaurant, was elected Sommelier of the Year (2013) and is a culinary judge in one of Flanders top TV shows. 

The name Divin refers to something heavenly and isn't that what great wine is? The legend goes that a Persian emperor liked grapes so much he stored them in big wooden barrels in the palace basement. He soon discoverd that the fermented juice in the barrels was even better than the grapes. He had labeled them 'poison' because he didn't want anybody else to taste them. One day a woman at his court wanted to end her life because the emperor had broken her heart. She went to the basement to drink the poison from the barrel. What she tasted didn't get her to what she had intended, she went to another kind of heaven, the one of drinking wine! 

From the excellent bar staff to the kitchen brigade, Sephi has chosen her team carefully. The Dutch Kijn Hoynck van Papendrecht makes a strong impression leading the bar, we were served by the most charming and professional Andy Baetens and the kitchen is headed by Nicky Cuppens, a young woman with many talents. The food we tried at the opening of Divin was simply fabulous. Trendsetting and imaginatively dishes, chef Nicky Cuppens surprised us plate after plate with taste sensations. All had a subtle Middle Eastern touch in the form of pistachio crumble, saffron ice and a wonderfully heavenly dessert with rhubarb and orangeblossom. We all agreed, can dessert ever get better than what we tasted here?

Together with the opening of her own wine bar Sepideh Sedaghatnia published her first book on wines with the playful title: '69 things you need to know about wine'. It is a wine manual based on what she has learned in her years as sommelier. Sepideh doesn't believe in intimidating jargon to describe wine, she wants to share her knowledge in a language that everyone can follow. One of the great things I read in her book is the link between your fashion personality (what is hanging in you wardrobe?) and your choice of wine. Find your type and she will tell you what wine you like but also what wine you should discover. I am all for discovering wine! Check my Instagram tonight for a full report on the wines I will be tasting. 

The right atmosphere, fine selection of wines and food to die for, this must be what the wine gods intended. Heavenly. 

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