Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires


Argentinians are now into wine more than ever before, thanks to new top-quality vintages that go beyond the purple, juicy malbec. Good spots to sample wines in Buenos Aires used to be relatively few, but that is now changing. Throw into the mix the fact that the government recently named fermented grape juice as Argentina’s national drink and you have the perfect sampling storm.

Here are 10 of the best new wine bars and tasting rooms around the capital, showcasing the wares of Argentina’s 884 bodegas.

Shout Brasas and Drinks, Retiro

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

Santiago Lambardi and sommelier Sebastián Maggi, the team behind this popular spot, which opened in 2014 in the downtown Retiro barrio, sought inspiration from London and New York’s finest merchants and bars. They also imported Newine, Buenos Aires’ first wine-by-the-glass dispenser. This card-operated system, installed this month, keeps wine fresh with a tiny shot of nitrogen, Shout can serve 35 wines from Argentina’s diverse grape-producing areas at various sample sizes. Punters top up their card for 100 pesos (£5.22), and a simple push of a button releases sample sizes of drinks such as torrontés from the north-western Calchaquíes Valley or malbec from Río Negro province in northern Patagonia. The building is a 1920s warren of a mansion that previously housed an art gallery and nightclub. For a wide-ranging experience, order a “flight” of four wines (Malbec Power, say, or Nosotros Pinoteamos) in sample sizes guided by one of Shout’s team.
By the glass from £1.60, quarter-glass, four-wine flights from £4.70. Maipú 981, Retiro +54 11 4313 2850 Open Mon-Tues 6pm-2am, Wed-Fri 6pm-3am, Sat 8pm-3am

Bar du Marché, Palermo Hollywood

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

You choose the cheese or charcuterie; Bar du Marché picks three wines. And it makes for a dream teaming at this petite French-style bistro that could have been airlifted in from Paris’s 11th arrondissement. The 100-strong wine list focuses on New World offerings plus a smattering of burgundies and chiantis; half of those are available to try by the glass. Those with an amplified thirst should opt for larger vessels such as small- or medium-size decanters – respectively a glass and a half and a half-bottle – or indeed the full 750ml. If you can handle Buenos Aires’ humid summer, drink outside at a marble-topped table on the pavement and watch the world saunter past. The first floor of this cute bistro, which opened in late 2012, is also home to Omakase, a chic puerta cerrada (closed-door) private sushi restaurant – that is reservation-only.
By the glass from £1.60, platter of three wines and three cheeses £9.50. Nicaragua 5946, Palermo Hollywood +54 11 4778 1050, Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-midnight

Pain et Vin, Palermo Soho

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

Although this wine bar and sourdough bakery opened only two years ago, it has become an integral part of the local wine scene. It’s led by energetic husband-and-wife team Ohad and Eleonora – he kneads the pain while she opens the vin. Pain et Vin regularly hosts tastings by top oenologists; Zorzal Wines’ Juan Pablo Michelini recently launched his latest line at the communal table. Focusing on boutique wineries with limited production, this is a great spot for purchasing a revelatory bottle, although the moreish sourdough sandwiches should be devoured on the spot.
By the glass from £2.50, flights £8, private premium wine tasting £16. Gorriti 5132, Palermo Soho +54 11 4832 5654, Facebook. Open Tues-Sat noon-10pm, Sun noon-7pm

Almacén Otamendi, Caballito

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires
Photograph: Sorrel Moseley-Williams

“We’re a bit tired of traditional tastings so we like to mix things up,” says Victoria Beleniski, sommelier and co-owner of Almacén Otamendi. And true to her word, she does. She and husband Gustavo Berman, a craft brewer, converted a butcher’s shop into a vinoteca eight months ago in Caballito, a sprawling neighbourhood west of Palermo. Stocking 300 labels from boutique wineries, the couple turn their cellar over to wine and beer tastings every Thursday, teaming degustaciónes with exhibitions by local artists or even low-key tango shows. Also a member of distributor Fulanos Wines’ team, Victoria knows her stuff, always keeping a bottle or two open for customers to sample. There are tastings and introductory courses, and keep an eye out for weekly deals, such as two cabernet sauvignons from Cafayate’s Domingo Molina anda free torrontésfor an extremely economical £8.50.
Wine tasting £8, open-tap beer tasting (drink as much as you want) £10.50. Otamendi 101, Caballito Facebook. Open Mon-Thurs 5pm-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-2pm and 5pm-9.30pm.

Gran Bar Danzón, Recoleta

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

From its opening in 1998 until 2005, Gran Bar Danzón was the only establishment catering to oenophiles in Buenos Aires. A true heavyweight on the porteño drinking scene for the past 18 years – not only for its 300-strong wine list but also innovative cocktail creations – Danzón offers sultry ambience and romantic lighting. Pick a spot at the 18-metre bar then tuck into the daily, deluxe happy hour (7pm-9pm, from 8pm Sat and Sun) whose premium vintages rotate fortnightly; three flights are also available. One wine-sampling journey focuses on Uco Valley’s discerning wine-producing district, Gualtallary, while the South to North tasting tour takes in the Alto, Uco and Calchaquíes Valleys in Río Negro, Mendoza and Salta respectively. Introductions in the menu praising star grapes torrontés and malbec are penned by renowned winemakers Alejandro Sejanovich from Manos Negras and Marcelo Pelleriti from Monteviejo, both wineries located in Uco Valley, Mendoza, which enhance Danzón’s stellar reputation.
By the glass from £3.50, wine flights £5.50, premium happy hour £8. Libertad 1161, Recoleta +54 11 4811 1108, Open Mon-Fri 7pm-2am, Sat-Sun 8pm-4am

Aldo’s Vinoteca and Restorán, Monserrat

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

More than 600 labels deck the walls of sommelier Aldo Graziani’s art deco-style wine store and restaurant. The crimson ceiling and strategically placed mirrors ensure it seems to be many more – basically, you’re surrounded. It prides itself on maintaining the same price whether you drink in or take away. Tuesday degustaciónes in Aldo’s private salon are time well spent, with an oenologist such as local golden boy Matías Riccitelli (whose República del Malbec wine featured in Will Smith’s 2015 film Focus) taking you through a tasting. Wednesdays, meanwhile, feature wine-based cocktails made from wines from Familia Zuccardi, one of Mendoza’s largest family-run bodegas, whose vast repertoire runs the gamut between world-class and budget tipples. This is a sophisticated offering with a well-priced restaurant specialising in classy Argentine bistro food.
Wine by the glass from £3. Tuesday tasting with five wines £10.50. Moreno 372, Monserrat +54 11 4334 2380, Open Sun-Thurs noon-midnight, Fri noon-1am, Sat 7pm-1am

Lo de Joaquín Alberdi, Palermo Soho

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

“Joaquín Alberdi’s Place” is one of Buenos Aires’ most cherished tasting rooms and wine stores, not least because of Joaquín’s jolly attitude and wealth of knowledge. An early-20th century mansion with stained glass front door and colourful tile floor is the setting for Lo de JA! – as it’s known – which stocks around 500 labels. Pull up a stool at the U-shaped bar and let the owner himself – who also does fantastic asados (barbecues) upstairs – pour the wares. With a decade in the wine-selling business and a previous life as a chef, Joaquín’ brings each bottle to life. Drop by for a quick taste of whatever’s open or book a more official tasting that focuses on a particular varietal, region or winery.
Monday to Wednesday mid-range tastings £8, Thursday and Friday high-end tasting with cheese board £13.50. Borges 1772, Palermo Soho +54 11 4832 5329, Open Mon-Sat 11am-9.30pm, Sun noon-9pm

Oporto Almacén, Nuñez

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

A red-and-white Vinos sign guides wine buffs to Oporto Almacén’s stylish first-floor tasting room. Around 450 bottles colour-coordinated by label design twinkle alluringly at this airy, polished bistro, wine store and deli. It is off the tourist trail in suburban Nuñez, north of Belgrano, and run by sommeliers Andrea Donadio and Julian Pilar, and their wine list is known as Selección Oporto. A fortnightly tasting and private sale (reservation required) give enthusiasts the chance to sample a particular bodega’s wares, guided by that winery’s oenologist or even the winery owner. As for the ample list, Iconos deals in legendary wines from big-name wineries such as Viña Cobos and Cheval des Andes, both in Perdriel, Mendoza, while vinos de la semana offersweekly bargains such as the catchily named Hey! Malbec or Biutiful. Enjoy your glass on the lush urban terrace.
By the glass from £3, tasting £10.50. 11 de Septiembre 4152, Nuñez +54 11 4703 5568, Facebook. Open Mon-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-4pm

La Cava Jufré, Villa Crespo

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

Browsing the wine bottle tree at La Cava Jufré, Villa Crespo’s original wine bar, always yields a few surprises: its branches, or rather wine bottles, change frequently according to owner Lito Galeano’s whims. But if indecision is calling the shots, put your evening in Lito’s hands and he’ll happily choose drinks from the cellar. A rustic corner mansion with exposed brickwork and 19th-century ceramic floor tiles, the relaxed, candle-lit bar is conducive to wine banter; suddenly it’s the early hours and you’ve polished off several Durigutti 2012 Bonardas with the neighbours. With a main salon, a cosy mezzanine and street corner tables for sipping, it attracts an array of wine fans, from on-trend sommeliers to pensioners with malbec coursing through their veins. Lito also hosts tastings and mini wine fairs featuring a dozen bodegas. The inspired lamb empanadas are some of the best in town.
By the glass from £3, by the bottle from £6.50. Jufré 201, Villa Crespo +54 11 4775 7501 Open Wed-Sat 6.30pm-12.30am

Trova, Palermo Hollywood

Top 10 wine bars and tasting rooms in Buenos Aires

A contemporary space with a chilled-out ambience, Trova opened in mid-2014 and has an array of hidey-holes and alcoves where customers can practise glass swirling in peace. A rotating 25-strong, by-the-glass listis backed by Trova’s three-strong team of youthful but passionate sommeliers. Those after a comprehensive introduction to Argentine wines have two options: dipping into one of 12 three-glass flights with back stories such as “Discovering Bubbles” and “A New Gem – Cabernet Franc”, or bookingfor Tuesday’s sommelier-led group tasting. The glass-fronted cellar that is also used as a private dining room is open until 1am for last-minute purchases at takeaway prices.
Tasting size from £1, by the glass from £3, group tastings from £8pp. Honduras 5903, Palermo Hollywood, +54 11 4774 6727, Facebook. Open Tues-Thurs 6pm-1am, Fri-Sun 7pm-2am