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If you’re a wine lover, and you visited Shanghai ten or so years ago, you might’ve been disappointed. Despite its enormous size, the city wasn’t big on vino and wine bars were incredibly difficult to find.
These days, however, it’s a different story. The rapid pace of development means that all things European have been making their way to China’s largest city, and one of them is definitely Wine bar fever. Whether prefer to drink in an atmosphere of sleek sophistication, or in a funky, rustic bar, you can find it. Here’s a guide to some of Shanghai’s best up-and-coming wine bars.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of wandering through Tuscany on a wine tour, Cheers Cellar’s rustic interior will speak volumes to you. Think an intimate, rustic feel, with warm service, wooden floor boards and brown checked table cloths. The wine list boasts an impressive variety, crossing no fewer than fourteen nations, and both Old World and New World drops.
You can either enjoy a glass on the premises with a cheese platter or choose your favourite bottle and take it with you for drinking in luxury at one of the 5 star hotels in Shanghai. You’ll find Cheers Cellar at 557 Yongjia Lu, hidden beyond a cute courtyard.
What’s unusual (and appealing) about Project Wine is that it’s owned by musicians. To be precise, it’s a Shanghai trio by the name of Fat Lips who play a fun mix of pop and jazz. They know a thing or two about what makes a good night out. The interior is part Soho sophistication, part East Village artsy, created by Thomas Austerveil, a designer hailing from France. Most nights, you’ll find yourself drinking to a house music soundtrack, but it’s atmospheric rather than intrusive. Project Wine is situated close to Julu Lu, at 17-1 Xianghang Bei Lu.
French wine expert Vincent Landais is the brains behind Dr Wine. Before moving to Shanghai, he was a member of Alain Ducasse’s famous crew. As you can expect, it offers a classy atmosphere of the kind you might find in a Parisian wine bar. If you’re keen to sample a new drop, you’ll have your work cut out for you – several hundred wines from all over the world are on the menu and Vincent is more than happy to walk you through them. You’ll find Dr Wine in Luwan, at 177 Fumin Lu.
UVA Wine Bar
Like Dr Wine, UVA is European in vibe, but it’s definitely designed to appeal to a younger, cooler crowd. It’s also bigger. Think wooden floors, leather chairs that you’ll never want to drag yourself out of, shadowy lighting and tiny hidey holes where you can conceal yourself with a glass and a good friend. The wine list reflects UVA’s Italian ownership (two wine aficionados by the names of Piercarlo Panozzo and Ivan Icardi), as does the food. Generous servings of pizza and pasta are available at reasonable prices. UVA is near Kangding Lu, at 819 Shaanxi Bei Lu.