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You have probably read about China’s obsession with wine. If you are interested in the intersection of wine and China, you should definitely watch the documentary Red Obsession – narrated by Russell Crowe, this documentary details the relationship between China and Bordeaux and how Chinese demand artificially inflated Bordeaux market values which later crashed.

And so it is, quite rightly true, that the Chinese are becoming big wine drinkers. And with Shanghai as the epicenter of Chinese cosmopolitan culture, it is no surprise that China’s best wine bars can be found here. As a wine aficionado myself, I have spent a great deal of time seeking out the best venues to enjoy vino in Shanghai. Here they are:

 

Dr.wine4_

Dr. Wine
Centrally located on one of the main streets in the French Concession, if you can forgive the silly name, Dr Wine has been hugely popular since its opening 3 years ago.  There are 2 levels, with the downstairs being more of a bar style and the upstairs more lounge with tables. The floors are salvaged housing beams and the tables are rustic wood. There is also a large community farm table where groups mix, as well as some private-ish rooms with leather sofas. This place is almost always packed, so a booking is essential. I like to come here because they have a great range of wines (international, but heavy on the French selections) from affordable to astronomical. So no matter who you come with and their budget, there’s something available. Also the handmade, thin crust pizzas are quite good for snacking and sharing.

177 Fumin Lu,
near Julu Lu
+86 21 5403 5717

 

UVA

UVA
UVA might be my favourite wine bar for ambiance on the list. And while there might be better wine lists at some of the others I name in this list, I like UVA for it’s low lit,velvet-draped and cozy evirons which makes the wine drinking experience much more sultry and intimate than others on the list. It focuses entirely on Italian wines – so if high tannin reds or Northern Italian whites aren’t your thing, UVA might not be for you. Don’t bother with the food unless it is a cheese or salami plate – it’s more about the wine here than the food.

819 Shanxi Bei Lu,
near Kangding Lu
+86 21 5228 0320

 

pata negra 1

Pata Negra
This is my current favourite place to drink wine because it is the triple threat of wine bars -1) great ambiance, 2) fantastic wine list and 3) amazing food. It’s intended to be a destination for Joselito Iberico ham and tapas, but I come here often more so for the diverse wine list. It’s very international representing everything from Argentina and California to France and Italy. The large space is broken up into smaller rooms with large booths and tables for lounging. It’s city chic with rustic rough-hewn wood tables and pop art posters which give a a slight urban edge. There is even a special ham room for those of you more interested in the Iberico ham than the wine. And even though ham is the self-proclaimed star of the show, they do a crazy good pizza here. Seriously. Not to miss. And what’s even better? Pizza with Iberico ham and a glass of a big, Super Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon. (photo courtesy of Shanghai Wow)

913 Julu Lu,
near Changshu Lu
+86 21 5403 2976

 

project wine

Project Wine
I like Project Wine for a few reasons, but maybe mostly because the staff is so nice. Every time I go there, which varies from frequently (1x a week) when I am in town to infrequently (1x in a couple of months) when I am traveling, they ALWAYS remember me. And who can resist the warm greeting of a friendly face. The staff is as friendly as the wine list is long. There’s a good selection across all price points….it’s mostly Italian, but there are some other country’s wines decently represented as well. I am also quite fond of the setting – a mash up of Chinese day beds and Victorian style sofas with a quirky assortment of chairs is housed an a high-ceiling industrial-style space.  Like many other wine bars…they do a decent pizza for snacking. (photo courtesy of Time Out)

17-1 Xiangyang Bei Lu,
near Julu Lu
+86 21 5497 9519

 

DVino (2)

DVino
Actually I am not sure if I come here more for the owner’s grandmother’s lasagna or for the well selected Italian wine list. DVino is a charming little place that could be straight from Rome – warm with candles, a aged looking brick wall and full of Italians….so you know it must be good. To be fair, it is a bar restaurant and not a true wine bar, but it is the wine list (and grandma’s lasagna) that keeps me coming back. It doesn’t help that it sits right below my gym… it is an exercise in self restraint in order not to go to DVino a little more often than I should. (photo courtesy of Smart Shanghai)

98 Yanping Lu,
near Xinzha Lu
+86 21 5175 9823

 

burdigala

Burdigala
Reminiscent of a European train station schedule, Burdigala displays it’s wine list on plaques pegged to the long wall. The wine list is entirely Bordeaux, but affordable Bordeaux. The founder wanted to ensure that Shanghai’s denizens got an opportunity to experience good Bordeaux without the pomp and circumstance that go along with some of the more famous (and extraordinarily expensive) wines of Bordeaux. Also, they have snacks well suited to wine…from foie gras to truffled pasta to smoked salmon. So if you wanted, you could make it just wine or wine with dinner.

550 Wuding Lu,
near Shanxi Bei Lu
+86 21 6217 0377

 

house of roosevelt

House of Roosevelt Wine Cellar
This is no doubt the largest collection in Shanghai, with over 4000 labels from nearly ever wine producing country. Every Wed there is a tasting event comparing varietals from different regions or even different countries. This is also the venue for certain wine fairs and wine dinners throughout the year. This is not a cozy, intimate wine bar exactly… it’s more of a huge multi-level historic building with a restaurant, night club and a rooftop terrace. But they know their wine. So for the serious wine drinker this is definitely the place to go. That said, even if you are a casual drinker there is still a casual ease with which the House of Roosevelt operates, so you won’t feel out of your element.

The House of Roosevelt,
2/F, 27 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu,
near Beijing Dong Lu
+86 21 2322 0755

 

 

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