Warsaw’s Top Alternative Wine Stores
Having a night in? Then forget the bog standard offers, and join us instead for a tour of the stores that are selling wines for the times!
Barika Emilii Plater 36
Arranging their stock via style and price rather than country of origin, Barika’s alternative approach is well-suited to entry-level drinkers that are easily intimated by Warsaw’s higher-brow stores. Even their web page allows you to choose wines based the occasion and your mood – sad? Happy? Prepping for a date? Or just want to get drunk for no special reason!? Frankly, the way they demystify wine is an example to all.
Cheers Browarna 4
A hybrid store whose versatility is every bit as welcome as the ambiance itself. Made with the modern Powiśle person in mind, swing in for a space lined with bottles facing in towards a communal table. The quality is not to be snorted at, but it’s their categorization that really strikes a home run: where wine’s concerned, that means splitting the shelves into those marked for the ‘connoisseur’, ‘for relaxation’, ‘for select’ and ‘on trend’. In the latter discover a wealth of wines from small, sustainable vineyards in Poland and beyond. They’re not short on other alcohols either, including rums, whisky, gin and craft beer. The party starts here!
Rausz na Wilczej Wilcza 27
As a restaurant this place went a little under-the-radar – subsequently reinvented as a wine bar, it’s fared a whole lot better. “In general,” says co-owner Izabela, “we want to present wines we drink ourselves from regions that are interesting and well worth knowing.” In addition to their Spanish, Italian and French collections, find excellent wines from less familiar destinations: Slovenia, Czech, Austria and Georgia. “The dry Tokaj,” promises Izabela, “is excellent”. When choice is made, settle down to enjoy them in an engaging, intimate interior.
Natural Rascal Bottle Shop Hoża 61
Founded by interior designer Dominika Buck and film producer Radek Drabik, Warsaw’s most talked about wine importer have continued to make a splash ever since setting up a bricks-and-mortar location on a trending stretch of lively Emili Plater. Specializing in natural wines sourced from small, artisanal wineries, the diverse and extensive portfolio favors the unconventional with the choice solely focused on organic and biodynamic varietals.
Lalou Wine Concept Krochmalna 56
You thoroughly expected Browary Warszawskie to come up with a spectacular wine concept, and indeed they have. Overseen by Magda Butkiewicz-Dudzińska and Norbert Dudziński (former sommelier at Dyletanci as well as the triple Michelin-starred Geranium), their stint in Copenhagen is evidenced via a beautiful design defined by its sophisticated simplicity, soft curved lines and sense of light and space. Familial in its atmosphere, the offer is not to be shrugged at. “Wines from Champagne, Jura, the Loire Valley, Burgundy, Etna, Tenerife, Moselle are our essence,” says Norbert. “And also natural wines as well – organic, biodynamic, low-intervention, modernists, terrorists, authenticists and naturalists.”
Raj Piwosza Bora-Komorowskiego 56A
For those living on the city’s right side, Raj Piwosza became a legend of the lockdown – an off-license and general lifeline selling an emphatic choice of craft beers, niche wines and other artisanal liquid somethings. Perhaps driven by the discovery of the area’s thirst for their offerings, they’ve gone another step by launching a bar with a similarly exhaustive selection of drinkies. Primarily that means beer, but wine isn’t forgotten either. Set in a newish residential development on the frontline of Grochów, Gocław and Saska Kępa, it’s a super-friendly destination with few airs and graces.
Winnice Mołdawii Czarnieckiego 63A
Set in a 1920s villa that miraculously survived the war, you’ll be visiting for a family-run business specializing in the import of Moldovan, Georgian and Romanian wines (and produce, come to think of it). Covering both classics and the latest trends, it’s a portfolio that’s broad in its style and aching to be discovered inside a converted garage attached to the house.
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