Le Verre à Vin

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Photograph: courtesy Le Verre à Vin
1221 Changle Lu
With a name that translates as ‘The Wine Glass’ and bottles of plonk lining every surface, there’s no mistaking what this new bar is all about. Opened to accommodate the overflow of customers at sister venue Le Vin further east on Changle Lu, there are a lot of similarities between the two bars, especially when it comes to available brands and types of wine, but both manage to feel unique. Le Vin is pokey and convivial, with a very French feel to it. Le Verre à Vin has more room to move, but manages to be just as
friendly and fun.

On one Friday night, the bar was so animated it took us nearly ten minutes to get a glass of wine. But that’s OK: the mix of mildly drunk and happy clientele made the wait entertaining. From the blackboard bar menu that’s updated daily, there are three options of white wine available by the glass, all at 42RMB, including a Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay. The latter is crisp with a grassy nose, and not bad for a house white.

The options for red wine are even more varied, with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Grenache available from 48-58RMB. The Syrah is fruity and full-bodied, and while quite heavy on tannins, it’s a guzzler nonetheless. If you’re not keen on wine, you can pick up a 500ml Asahi for 42RMB served from a large square keg affixed with the standard widget for creating a creamy foam head.

But you’re really here for their grape-based wares and perhaps the best feature of this bar – other than the spidery-overhead light feature – is the option to choose your own bottle from an impressive selection on the shelves. With wines starting at around 250RMB, prices are comparable to other wine bars in the city. Most wine growing regions are represented, with a lot of Italian wines dotting the shelves, as well as New Zealand (319RMB for a bottle of Momo Sauvignon Blanc) and French wines (including Alsace Riesling from 349RMB) making an appearance. All the wine you see is also available to take-away at 10 percent off the marked price.
Venue name: Le Verre à Vin
Opening hours: 5pm - 1am daily
Metro: Changshu Lu
English address: 1221 Changle Lu, near Huashan Lu, Jingan district
Chinese address: 静安区长乐路1221号, 近华山路