As the calendar lands on Valentine’s, we pick out some of the best places in Warsaw for a bottle of something special.
Remember summer, when drinkers would congregate on a courtyard deck shielded from the sun by a slanted white sail? Fortunately, you’re still able to enjoy the fantastic author’s cuisine of Sebastian Wełpa, albeit in boxed-up, takeaway form – but while waiting, tap the staff up for advice before browsing their rich range of 250 wines. It’s a stalwart!
A highly original portfolio centered around modern Spanish wines. Organic, orange and natural wines are well-represented, and for those that way inclined there’s even some rather interesting Spanish ciders as well.
Kieliszki Na Próżnej
Go on, count them: hanging tantalizingly over the bar are 1,116 glasses, a testament to Kieliszki’s promise to serve all the wines they have (and there’s a motherlode to pick from) by the glass. At least that was the case before covid – now, you’ll be buying bottles from this charming wine bar-restaurant hybrid before padding into the night down a charmingly restored, pre-war street.
Five hundred labels from over 15 countries, with the choice including kosher wine, organic, bio and vegan choices. Founded by legendary TV actor Marek Kondrat, his store(s) helped revolutionize Poland’s wine scene.
La Cave Philippe de Givenchy
French-owned, and selling only the wines that the owner himself likes to drink, this little treasure specializes in wines from France and pays more than a passing nod to biodynamic and organic trends.
Visits to Nowina are always welcomed, not least for the chance to soak inside interiors that mix
elements by Tom Dixon, Eames and Oskar Zięta with whimsical touches such as original 19th century flooring, lights sourced at auction from the Europejski Hotel, and a staggering collection of antique corkscrews. The store side of things is equally thoughtful and eclectic
One of the Insider’s favorite little secrets, Raut’s modernized spin on pre-war cuisine gets a firm nod from our direction, but so too does their wine. Their discounted pre-assembled sets are ideal for small get togethers at home and include several quirky Spanish labels you won’t necessarily have heard of before.
What is it with Wilcza!? Another great store, this one half-submerged below street level. The broad, ample choice covers all price bases and involves no shortage of trending vineyards and traditional big hitters.
Wine Taste by Kamecki
ul. Twarda 2/4
A serial finalist at Polish, European and global sommelier championships, Piotr Kamecki deals only in the best. Small, little-known labels rub next to the likes of Bollinger, Gaja, Vega Sicilia, and Sassicaia, and don’t think of leaving without some Riedel glassware in which to enjoy it.
ul. Bracka 9 (Vitkac)
A diverse, premium-minded choice that fits with the over-arching philosophy of Poland’s most luxurious department store. Wines from Italy, Spain and France are especially prominent, though with Valentine’s in mind look at their champagnes.
ul. Rozbrat 44
The archetypal all-rounder, Dyletanci has it all: an approachable bistro style; adventurous cooking; and a wine list with no discernible Achilles Heel. Burgundy is a particular strength, as too are Polish wines (including those from the proprietor’s own vineyard, the upcoming Dom Bliskowice).
Rozbrat 34 & Zwycięzców 19
Like their central location, find these outposts of El Catador knocking out sublime Spanish wines that cover every whim and fancy.
More than just the finest restaurant Warsaw has, Rozbrat 20 knocks it out of the park with a wine offer that explores the latest trends whilst also remembering more traditional tastes. The Rieslings are their pride.
Mielżyński Wine Bar
ul. Burakowska 5/7
Tangled in vines and creeping ivy, this brick warehouse is ensconced in wine legend – it’s here Poland’s wine revolution truly began! A flagbearer when it comes to consistency and quality, this post-industrial space remains a default favorite of the Warsaw public when it comes to fulfilling their wine needs.
A quite gorgeous villa in leafy Żoliborz houses Winnice Mołdawii, your number one source for Moldovan, Georgian, Armenian, Ukrainian and Romanian wines – and there’s a chance we’ve forgotten a couple of countries there.
Mielżyński Wine Bar
As befits the warehouse dimensions, the choice of wine here is prodigious, with over 500 labels present and prices ranging from zł. 40 all the way to the big league; cut through the noise by seeking counsel from the staff. They’ll sell you the right wine for the right time whilst overlooking the temptation to just lump you with whatever is expensive.
Biały Kamien 5 & Fort 8
A legend, plain and simple. Slanted heavily towards Italy, though also featuring other European powerhouses, choices involve biodynamic, unfiltered and natural wines from both established and on-trend producers.
Expect nothing but the ultimate wine experience inside this south Warsaw favorite. Over 1,000 labels, inc. with a special place reserved for the wines of Bordeaux. And for something different? How about an online wine tasting with sommeliers Sławomir Chrzczonowicz and Jan Bester.
Once a pre-war cinema, Winosfera helped revived this stretch of Chłodna when it opened eight or so years back. Filling a dual role as a highly reputable restaurant and a stunning wine store, their portfolio is among the best in Poland.
Whisky & Wine Place
ul. Jana Kazimierza 30
On the whisky front, there’s a thousand to browse – from Scottish single malts to more maverick choices from Sweden and Egypt. Elsewhere, Warsaw’s broadest choice of champagne includes several rarer labels whilst the wine offer has been tweaked to involve a fair few trending Polish wines.