Best Natural Wine Bars

 Best Natural Wine Bars

© Jason Leung | Unsplash

wine_bar

 Best Natural Wine Bars

© Jason Leung | Unsplash

On the one hand, natural wine lists in restaurants and wine bars have become ever-more popular in recent years. On the other hand, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what a natural wine is. As a result, some of the following establishments may not even consider themselves to be natural wine specialists.

Rest assured, though, that the wine list in any of these seven extraordinary establishments will be chock-full of wines whose grapes have been grown either organically or biodynamically, and which have been made in a hands-off manner, with little or no additions of chemicals and with minimal winemaker intervention.

Brawn, London

is located in Columbia Road, which means that the best time to visit may well not be on Sunday lunchtime, when the flower market crowds are at peak capacity. Book a table for dinner, instead, and enjoy simple dishes that rely on carefully sourced ingredients for their quality, and an extensive list of natural wines. There’s a strong link between Brawn and Les Caves de Pyrene, one of the UK’s foremost natural wine importers, so you can look forward to a comprehensive list of wines that range from pure-fruited expressions of terroir to full-on funk.

Website:  www.brawn.co


Septime, Paris

It is one of the hottest tickets in a city that takes its food and wine very seriously indeed. The relaxed atmosphere and brief menu belies the level of chef Bertrand Grébaut’s cred – Septime was listed No24 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list in 2021 – but wine buffs come for the list, which reads like a who’s who of natural winemaking.

If the restaurant’s too rich for your blood, Septime’s more casual wine bar, La Cave, is – quite literally – stumbling distance away.

Website: septime-charonne.fr/en


Ved Stranden 10, Copenhagen

You may be surprised to learn that natural wines are all the rage in Copenhagen, but you’d be challenged to find a good restaurant or wine bar in the city without a selection of minimal-intervention wines on its list.

Ved Stranden 10 is a perennial favourite. Situated in a picturesque location on the harbour, not far from the Christiansborg palace, in summer months the outdoor terrace is the place to be. The unwritten wine list, which offers both natural wines and those from some of the world’s top producers, features around 1,700 bottles, of which a dozen or so are on a monthly by-the-glass rotation.

If you don’t see what you fancy, just ask – the knowledgeable sommelier team should be able to find something that suits both your palate and your pocket.

Website: www.vedstranden10.dk


Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, New York

Sometimes you don’t want a wine bar that screams ‘natural wine’, but instead would rather just go to a classy wine bar that happens to have a lot of natural wines on its list. If that’s your desire, and you happen to be in Manhattan, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels is the place for you.

You’ll find plenty of largely French classics on the extensive list, bien sur, but flip beyond the initial few pages of Champagnes and you’ll find a vibrant international community of wines from around the globe. The small-plate food menu is similarly outward looking. It all adds up to a super, natural wine experience.

Website: www.compagnienyc.com 


Elda, San Francisco

There’s plenty of choice for natural wine lovers in the Bay area round San Francisco, from Oakland’s Ordinaire to the French-leaning Verjus near Embarcadero, but if you’re looking for something a bit beyond the mainstream, you should check out Elda, the (relatively) new kid of the natural wine block.

Describing itself as a ‘California Cantina’, Elda offers stripped-down décor, a small but perfectly formed selection of wines by the glass, on tap and by the bottle, with a focus on local offerings, and a menu of dishes heavily influenced by the flavours and ingredients of the Caribbean.

Website:  www.eldasf.com


Love, Tilly Devine, Sydney

There’s something of the speakeasy about Love, Tilly Devine, which would have pleased its namesake, a crime boss who ran her racket in 1920s’ Sydney. In her current incarnation, though, Tilly Devine is a hard-to-find wine bar tucked away in a little alley in Darlinghurst.

It’s a tiny split-level space, so book ahead to ensure you get a berth. There’s an exempleray list of minimal intervention wines, many of which are sourced from some of Australia’s most exciting producers, and a brief menu of robustly flavoured dishes that pays testament to a profound understanding of seasonal ingredients.

Website: www.lovetillydevine.com


RAC Bar, Shanghai

To the uninitiated, Shanghai might sound like the last place you’d go looking for a natural wine bar, yet minimal intervention wines are all the rage among the smart set in China’s most cosmopolitan city. The pick of the crop is probably the RAC Bar on Anfu Road. 

Given its location in the historic French concession of Shanghai, it should come as little surprise to discover that during the day the focus is on dishing up crepes and galettes to its clientele, but as night falls the RAC Bar transforms itself into a relaxed wine bar with a wall of wine fridges full of bottles sourced directly from the best importers of natural wines in the city.

The focus is largely on France, but Italy and Spain put in an appearance too, and there’s always a selection of a few wines chalked up on the board and served by the glass.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/racsh

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