China’s burgeoning young affluent generation has had a taste of wine and decided they like it. Wine sales in China have boomed in recent years and even the number of local wine producers has seen a rapid increase. As China’s wine industry continues to grow annually, estimates suggest that China may become the world’s eighth largest wine consumer by 2012. Besides an increase in choice and quality, one way this trend manifests itself is through the ever multiplying number of wine bars in the city. This article lists five of the best wine bars in Beijing.
La Baie des Anges 天使港湾View In Map
Nestled in the winding hutongs behind Houhai, La Baie des Anges is one of Beijing’s most charming, little wine dens. Owned by French wine connoisseurs who really understand their wine, the bar emanates an authenticity and certain chic that is inherently French. The bar offers a vast choice of French wines and a Mediterranean food menu is also available. Wines can be ordered by the bottle or glass and enjoyed to the chill-out sounds of French tunes and jazz music.
Add: 5 Nanguanfang Hutong, Houhai, Beijing
Opening hours: 18:00-02:00 (closed Mondays)
Tel: 010 6657-1605
Scarlett Wine Cellar (photo: chicpark.com)
Scarlett Wine Bar & RestaurantView In Map
Housed in the funky, multi-coloured building of Hotel G on Gongti Xilu, Scarlett Wine Bar is a popular hang-out for young executives and stylish folk. As a restaurant and bar combo, Scarlett offers an extensive wine menu with over 80 varieties that can be coupled with a wide choice of tasty cold cuts, tapas and cheeses. Scarlett excels in providing good quality food and wine in trendy settings and most importantly at quite reasonable prices. For example, their eight cheese platter at 168 RMB is not all too outrageous when one weighs up the number of opportunities one gets to eat eight different types of cheeses in one day – in China. The restaurant/bar regularly offers specials on food and drinks too which are listed on their website.
Add: 1F of Hotel G, A7 Gongti Xilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6552 2880
Opening hours: 18:00-02:00
Palette Vino (Pallete Wines) 派乐坊
Palette Vino is a true wine connoisseur’s paradise in Beijing. Originally just one of its kind, the original Shunyi venue has since given birth to a smaller offspring in a quaint hutong by Dongsi Shiyitiao. However, for the most authentic wine experience, it’s still best to go that extra bit further to Shunyi District. Here, wine connoisseur’s are greeted by dark coloured wooden floors, a wooden roof top, a fireplace and most importantly a menu with over 300 different wines. Unlike many other establishments that pay as much if not more attention to the food, Palette Vino aces in devoting the majority of its emphasis on the grape. Regular wine tastings are also held here where you can not only discover new favourites, but become more educated about the wonderful culture of wine.
Shunyi BranchView In Map
Add: Pinnacle Plaza, Tianzhu Development Zone, Shunyi District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8046 4461
Opening hours: 12:00-23:00
Dongsi Shiyitiao BranchView In Map
Add: 5 Dongsi Shiyitiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6405-4855
Opening hours: 11:00 – late
EnotecaView In Map
Enoteca at The Place is an offspring from the original at Anfu Lu in Shanghai. Overlooking the monstrous albeit eye-catching LED screen of The Place and surrounded by an abundance of glass, Enoteca offers great views of the city. However, it’s not the view that draws people in, but the extensive wine list at affordable prices. Another factor contributing to its popularity is the delicious range of tapas, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Its selections of wine by the glass rotate every two weeks and wines on the menu are carefully selected from around the globe.
Add: M102 Northern Tower, The Place, 9A Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6587 1578
Opening hours: 10:00- 02:00
Big 9 Wine ClubView In Map
The last spot on this list was a difficult choice between Big 9 and W Dine & Wine, but ultimately chose the former because of its cosy interior and clear focus on wine. Too many “wine bars” get led astray by the bank note, hoping to cash in by providing a swish interior and/or overly-priced food. However, with wine casks as tables and a decent selection of international wines at very reasonable prices, Big 9 Wine Club is one of those places you don’t have to get nervous in when just ordering one glass or bottle of wine minus food. Granted, the bar’s wine selection is not the most extensive in Beijing but the bar is one of the least pretentious wine bars in the city, with the aim of making wine culture accessible to everyone.
Add: 1/F City Hotel, 4 Gongti Donglu, Sanlitun, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6500 7388/36
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