“Wine is a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy,” Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1779, his ebullient words no doubt fueled by a glass or two of a full-bodied red. If you agree, then you’ve come to the right city.
The clear standouts in the city’s plentiful array of wine bars are the ones that go the extra mile, run by passionate wine experts who personally source unique and exceptional bottles from across the continent, crafting their wine lists with an eye for quality, not quantity. A gastronomic experience from start to finish, the following wine bars are favorites because they offer the complete package: cool ambiance, great wines, and tasty dishes.
Briefmarken Weine has charm to spare, and not just because of its location, a former stamp collectors’ shop on East Berlin’s most iconic boulevard.
With historic fittings—and retro neon sign—still intact, the space has been transformed into an inviting wine bar that positively glows with historic charm and warm hospitality. The Italian owners will be more than happy to provide guidance into the selection of high-caliber wines from their home country, whether something soft and fruity unless mineral-rich natural wines are more to your taste. The slim but delicious menu is a reflection of Slow Food principles, from delectable antipasti to the daily pasta special.
Kreuzberg’s Miller has a minimalist name and equally minimalist—though cozy—interior to match their dedication to “low-tech wine,” which translates into a small selection of German, Italian, and French wines that are all organic, biodynamic or natural – free from additives or clarifiers.
Once you’ve sampled the handful of open bottles and picked your favorite, the next challenge will be deciding what to eat. On offer is a changing selection of organic charcuterie, raw milk cheeses and no-fuss gourmet dishes prepared with the best produce out there: delicacies like octopus salad with celery and bruschetta with miso eggplant.
Not far away is Neukölln’s Jaja, a French-run wine bar that takes an even more dedicated focus than Miller, serving natural wines and nothing but, letting the complex interplay of grape variety, terroir and the technique of the winemaker come through in every glass. A weekly menu of tasty, creative small plates are the perfect complement to a night of wine tasting—think shaved cauliflower salad with preserved lemon and almond butter or squid ink ravioli with cod roe.