Foodtourist Wine Bar Guide
This is a guide to our favourite wine bars throughout the world that concentrate on natural wines that have been grown either organically or biodynamically, have been fermented naturally and have not had any additions during winemaking except, perhaps, low levels of sulphur.
These are places of conviviality where the owners have gone out of their way to source wines that have been produced with integrity and passion, usually from producers who tend the vines and make the wines.
l'Entree des Artistes
l'Entree des Artistes is a tiny bar in the rue de Crussol in the tres fashionable 11th, only a stone's throw from Au Passage in one direction, from Le Repaire de Cartouche in the opposite direction and Aux Deux Amis in another. Here two passionate young men (Edouard Vermynck and Fabien Lombardi) have created a space that is built on excellence in cocktails and ethically-sourced wines.
121BC is the Italian equivalent of a 'cave a manger' where you can buy a focussed selection of impressive biodynamic, organic and natural wines from the length and breadth of Italy as well as joining others at the communal table to graze on the selection of perfectly executed dishes on offer. The bar is managed by the gregarious Georgio de Maria who was deservedly named as top sommelier in Australia by Gourmet Traveller magazine.
Manfreds & Vin
Manfreds & Vin sits right across the road from the famous Relae restaurant in Copenhagen and shares the same ownership. Manfreds is like a 'bat cave' for the staff and the many industry locals who treat it like a second home. At one end of the room is the large walk-in cave with its disco ball lighting and hundreds of bottles of natural wine from small non-interventionist winemakers. Even though it is a perfect place to drop in for a glass of wine, don't overlook the food which is of a similar quality to its cousin over the road.
The Ten Bells
Ten Bells is the first place we head for when we arrive in New York. When you see Jean-Francois Ganevat on a wine list you know they are serious. And when they are accompanied by the Arbois-Pupillin from Emmanuel Houillon, Jean-Marie and Thierry Puzelat's Clos du Tue-Boeuf, the Binner Pinot Gris, Herve Souhart's Ardeche beauties and Philippe Pacalet's Corton-Charlemagne then you know you are looking at a place that is very serious about wine. We are always tempted to start with a Causse Marines Preamboules, a lightly sparkling 'pet nat' from near Gaillac in south west France and to finish with a glass of Stephane Guion's lovely Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley.
l'Avant Comptoir is the creation of the restless and energetic Yves Camdeborde who runs Le Comptoir next door. Here he has created a haven for lovers of natural wine where you crowd into this tiny space to have Lapierre Beaujolais poured from the magnum or one of a stellar array of wines from throughout France - all served at incredibly reasonable prices.
Bones is a hot restaurant and bar in the 11th arrondissement of Paris run by chef James Henry and his talented crew. The food is based on the freshest possible ingredients, the wine is a showcase of France's best artisanal, natural selections and the service is friendly and efficient. The bar area at the front of the restaurant is a magnet for those seeking interesting natural wines and great bar snacks.
Terroirs is a wine bar and restaurant in the heart of London specialising in natural wines from France and beyond. There are some ecellent wines available by the glass and an extensive and well-documented list for ordering by the bottle. Try the wines from Olivier Cousin or Domaine de la Chevalerie from Bourgueil.
Sidecar is another venture for the owners of nearby Garagistes, the incredibly popular no-bookings restaurant where eager foodies gather to sample the stunning food and amazing natural wines on offer there. Sidecar is a place where diners can go to have a drink and a snack while waiting for their table. It is also a welcome addition to the Hobart bar scene where an interesting selection of local and imported natural wines is available including some fabulous Italian orange wines and some stars of the French natural wine movement such as Axel Prufer and Nicolas Gauthier.
Septime Cave is a small, sparse bar and cave quite close to its mothership Septime. It serves a short, but nicely conceived list of mostly natural wines by the glass at very reasonable prices, or you can buy a bottle from the shelves that line two walls and they will open it for you at a very modest mark-up. They also serve small snacks which are quite delicious.
3 rue Basfroi, 75011, Paris
10 William Street
10 William Street is one of the most enticing wine bars in Sydney. The space is tight, the walls are covered with wine-related 'art' and the menu is brief but signals that you can snack for a while or settle in for an enjoyable evening. The wine list is eclectic ranging from the safe, such as the wines of Thierry Michon or the amazing Chablis wines of Alice and Olivier de Moor, to more unconventional Italian offerings including a number of orange wines. The place is under the watchful eye of sommelier and manager Matt Young who has an uncanny ability to produce exactly the right wine and the right time.
Aux Crieurs de Vin
Aux Crieurs de Vin in Troyes is one of our favourite wine bars anywhere! It has great atmosphere, great conviviality and very good food. The cellar holds examples of all of the finest natural winemakers from throughout France including those of Robinot (L'Ange Vin) from the Loire, Jerome Prevost, Ulysse Collin and Jacques Selosse from Champagne, Yvon Metras from Beaujolais and Philippe Pacalet from Burgundy to name but a few.
Le Cercle Rouge
Le Cercle Rouge is a funky wine bar in the very centre of the old part of the city of Angers in the Loire Valley of France. They specialise in natural wines and many of the wines from the icons of the movement such as Mosse, Villemade, Puzelat, Lemasson, Przezdziecki (PZ) and so on are represented here. It is a great place to sample the best that the Loire has to offer at very reasonable prices and in very convivial surroundings.
Love, Tilly Devine
Love, Tilly Devine is a secret bar in a back lane in Darlinghurst, Sydney, but not so secret that it is packed and pumping until late into the night. It attracts a crowd that is serious about wine and who want to experience something a bit different.
Le Bonheur Suit Son Cours
Le Bonheur Suit Son Cours in the pretty Romanesque village of Vaison-la-Romaine in Vaucluse serves interesting dishes that are not at all pretentious to accompany the very well-chosen selection of biodynamic and natural wines.
The Wine Store in Perth is part of the Lalla Rookh complex in St George's Terrace but is somewhat separated from it with an entrance off Sherwood Court. They have a very good range of Australian and Italian wines that have been produced organically or biodynamically including some that have been produced naturally.
Note that this venue is similar to a French cave-a-manger where you can drop in to buy a bottle to take away or settle in for a wine by the glass or for a full meal if you are hungry.
La Cremerie is one of our favourite wine bars in Paris. It has a great selection of natural wines and some lovely charcuterie to tantalise your taste buds while you are enjoying their wine offerings.
Café de la Nouvelle Mairie
Café de la Nouvelle Mairie is an authentic Paris bistro with a very natural wine list. A very good selection of natural wines by the glass is chalked on a blackboard. Expect to find wines such as Gramenon, Mosse, Robinot, Herve Souhart, Causse Marines and many more of the leaders of the natural wine movement as well as wines made by former owner Nicolas Carmarans on his vineyard in the Massive Central of central France.
La Cuchara de San Telmo
La Cuchara de San Telmo is one of the very best pintxos bars in San Sebastian where there are literally hundreds of good bars. We go here for the cerebral cooking of the young chefs who know how to combine disparate ingredients to produce a satisfying repast. The foie gras dishes here are especially good.