So, you love drinking wine but you’re not totally sure how to spell oenology. You’ve spotted a couple of labels at your local supermarket that have – to your novice palate – a great value for the money. Since you took that wine tour in Mendoza you now know that Malbec is the national grape, but the rest gets blurry…
If you want to learn more about wine in Argentina but the idea of attending one of those premium tasting hosted at a prestigious bodega leaves a bad taste in your mouth. All you ask for is a cozy place where you can enjoy a nice glass of wine and learn a little bit about it, without actually getting into the tricky terminology (charcoal, grip, tannins… oh my).
We’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for. The Bubble has selected five wine bars where you can experience your favorite drink without feeling intimidated.
Hache Almacén – Carranza 1670, Palermo Hollywood :
This little bar can easily go unnoticed among the agitated food and drink scene that Palermo Hollywood has to offer. Hache though, has all the necessary ingredients to stand out of the crowd. Delicious artisanal cheeses and charcuterie coming straight from the best local producers in Tandil, craft beers and of course – WINE. All of that topped with genuinely warm and welcoming service from the owners themselves. The place is small, and it is mostly arranged around large tables, inviting customers to interact with one another. But why is Hache listed among our favorite wine places? The owner – self professed “amateur wine connoisseur” Nicolás – values “the thorough care that is given to limited harvests.” A philosophy that clearly explains why their entire selection comes from small wineries across the country, carefully selected by the staff. Wine can be ordered by the glass, but fairly priced bottles are a much better option if you’re planning on sticking around for a while. If the wine tasting turns into a dinner Hache has some pretty attractive picadas. Prices vary according to the number of people you’ll share with, but they’re all composed of smoked lomo, Argentine asado (marinated on a traditional chimichurri sauce), bondiola, salame and four types of cheeses. Closed during the weekends, Hache is the ideal wine spot those after work wine sessions your sanity demands.
Bar du Marché – Nicaragua 5946, Palermo Hollywood:
This little piece of Paris in the heart of Palermo Hollywood has become a reference among wine amateurs as it was among the firsts to offer wine by the glass. The choice is wide: Bar du Marché features over 50 labels from Argentine boutique wineries. But definetly the best way to have a wine tasting experience here is to order their “vuelos”: How do they work? Easy! You name (or point at) the cheese, and they will find the wine that fits the best. Three cheese varieties perfectly paired with their ideal wine-match. Do this as part of their happy hour for an extra accessible piece of heaven. Another important factor that brings this little bar into our listing: the food – obviously. Let’s begin by mentioning Omakase, the closed door sushi restaurant hiding up the stairs. Within Bar du Marche itself though, you have fresh French style dishes that are served every day for lunch, providing you with the perfect excuse to curb that office wine craving you’ve been having all morning long. Breakfast is also available during the weekends, since… well, a little grape juice in the morning has never hurt anyone. They also have a proper tea selection, and a pretty good pan de campo. On the weekend evenings Bar du Marché gets packed with wine enthusiasts, which is why reservations are available and encouraged.
M Salumeria – El Salvador 5777, Palermo Hollywood:
This little wine bar opened a little over a year ago fuelled by the creators of the popular fish and sushi nikkei restaurant M Palermo and Siete Spirits vinoteca. Wooden decorations, chalkboard menus, hanging salami and wine. Lots and lots of bottles of wine. A few Italian labels on the boards along with the large variety of Italian products try to trick you into actually believing you’ve been teleported to some charming corner of Italy, but you quickly realize you haven’t left BA when the Malbecs and Bonardas start to appear. Getting lost among the wide range of choice? Go for the “vuelos” here too, this way you’ll get to try at least three different varieties. The flights combinations change constantly, as do the platters of cheese and charcuteries that are offered along. We highly recommend their picadas, as the quality of the (often imported) products is remarkable. Going for a bottle is also a good option here, as the prices tend to be only a little higher than at the wine shop. Argentines cover your eyes: some Chilean wines are also available in M Salumeria. Tastings are held every now and then, keep up with the upcoming ones on their Facebook page.
Pain et Vin – Gorriti 5132, Palermo Soho:
Bread and wine – everyone’s favorite pair. Add to that a cozy and convivial setting, warm and welcoming owners, a couple great cheeses, an efficient Wi-fi connection and you have the recipe for your new favorite hangout in Buenos Aires. Good news is all of this actually exists at the very heart of Palermo. This little café and wine bar opened about 3 years ago and quickly became famous for its unique sourdough bread. Simple yet creative sandwiches served on their delicious pan de campo were (and are still) offered for lunch. Pain et Vin recently renovated its menu, adding some provocative new dishes to it – how does shrimp risotto sounds to you? But what we like the most of this little vinoteca is their wide selection of labels from the country’s best boutique wineries. If you want to have a tasting experience go for wine by the glass, as the options are endless. This is also a good choice if you want to move your office into a cute little patio and don’t want to look like a wine addict by ordering an entire bottle. Oh, but if that ever were to happen, you can always take the unfinished bottle home and finish it over dinner – with friends, right? Group tastings are also held very often at very affordable prices (around AR$ 300). Recently Pain et Vin owners thought you might want to take tastings home, and are offering a monthly box of 6 bottles. Think you couldn’t get to love this place anymore than you already do? Well think again as Pain et Vin has its very own Wine School! For further info visit their Facebook Page.
Cava Jufré – Jufré 201 :
This vinoteca is definitely what porteños would call “un clásico de barrio”. Bottles, barrels, brick walls, more bottles and Lito – an enthusiastic dueño – make of Cava Jufré a warm, welcoming place not only to drink wine, but to share it with friends or the Villa Crespo regulars. The music (tango, jazz…) is often played lived, specially on the weekends, adding an extra touch of Argentine authenticity to this peculiar wine bar. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, ask Lito. He’ll guide you based on his knowledge and the mood of the evening. The place’s cava in the basement shelters dozens of bottles from bodegas all over the country, with different price ranges to choose from to drink at your table, or take home. Tastings are held there occasionally, featuring small national wineries. A charming bar with a soul, definitely worth trying for any wine enthusiast.
There you go: no more excuses for buying your wine at the chino – at least not all the time.