As a local and obviously into wine, here are my list of the best five wine bars in Bordeaux. Win e Bars have only become part of the french culture some 15 years ago. Before then wine always accompanied meals but was rarely drunk on its own. Things have changed and now Bordeaux like any city is full of them – many today have a range of wines from around France and the world’s wine regions – that is something else that has changed!
Bar à Vin, Maison du Vin Bordeaux
Taste a range of 24 different appellations in this modern space in the centre of Bordeaux opposite the Tourist Information. Understandably there are only Bordeaux wines but this includes powerful reds, softer reds, dry whites (oaked and unoaked) and sweet wines not just from the famous appellations of Sauternes but others too such as Loupiac. There is grape juice too for the kids or pregnant ladies. You can nibble on some charcuterie or cheese boards too. Open 11 to 10pm every day (except Sundays and public holidays – this is France after all). No reservation. The best is to ask for a tasting sample rather than full glass. Very reasonably priced.
Soif – (in the old Bordeaux) biodynamic or natural wines from around France and the world (and Bordeaux) and great food. Small so reserve.
Les Quatre Coins du Vin (in the old Bordeaux) – good range of wines in this popular place
Consonance – (in the old Bordeaux) wine bar specialising in food and wine matching open from 6 to 1am every night. Run by Valentin who knows all of the restaurant and hotel sommeliers who frequent this place.
The Wine Bar of the Boutique Hotel is easily accessible and has some interesting wines.
Le Pied à Terre – for wine tasting ateliers and wine bar (22 rue Judaique) run by two enthusiatic brothers.
Max Bordeaux is in Bordeaux’s main street (Cours l’Intendance) and has a preservation system so with a card you can sample some of Bordeaux’s most expensive wines – you can afford a sip of Haut Brion for example. Here is a list of the wines available by the glass or tasting sample (25 cl max 25€ and 3€ minimum) including Yquem, Angelus St Emilion, Smith Haut Lafitte white, Beauregard (Pomerol).
For Cocktails it is worth the trip towards the Gare St Jean on the quais there to Le Point Rouge. I loved the Original Zombie and Daiquiri – fresh and zingy with ice cut from a giant block of ice. The servers are very knowledgeable and I was surprised to find that most famous cocktails date back to the 1930s – each cocktail has its own story. The balance of the ingredients is very like wine – fascinating world.
Blind – is more of a restaurant with a wine bar (with southwest food) specialising in serving your wines blind and letting you have the fun of guessing what you are tasting!
To learn about winetasting in the heart of the wine district, les chartrons join François at L’Atelier degustation who will give you a private introduction to Bordeaux in his tasting atelier 22 Quai de Chartrons. Reservation necessary