Wine Places in Berlin
Experiencing wine in Berlin – Everything but mainstream
Wine and Berlin? In the past the connoisseur would likely have smiled sadly and sent the Berlin visitor to the luxury department store KaDeWe. Wine and Berlin is indeed still a relatively new phenomenon but one whose development is all the more exciting for that. From out of a wine desert has risen a city in love with wine, where even the party crowd knows the difference between Riesling and Silvaner and no longer confuses a “Grosses Gewächs” (lit. “great growth“ or “grand cru”) with a garden shrub. In the capital city the country´s wines are very much en vogue.
And Berlin would not be Berlin had it not shaken the dust firmly off the wine scene on the way there. Here, wine drinking is not celebrated as a traditional wine festival or an elite tasting. No pompous science is made out of it, no idle talk, wine is simply enjoyed. The Berlin wine scene prefers it casual and is full of ideas. New wine stores are continually popping up all over city and unusual wine tasting concepts are being tested. Whereas in the past wine bars served at most cheese and perhaps some charcuterie, today the partying goes on into the early hours with music and catfish in miso broth. Several of the new wine locations have become not only the most fashionable places in the Republic but also Michelin-starred restaurants.
The fact that in Berlin of all places a young, dynamic wine-lovers scene has found a huge space in which to grow and experiment is not least due to the special Berlin lifestyle, in which even parts of the establishment refuse to grow up. In the city the club culture is unique and the relatively affordable rents for shops and restaurants are a good basis for new experiments. However, things remain in a constant state of flux. In Berlin nothing lasts forever, especially in the restaurant sector. This also applies to the following list of cool and quirky wine locations in Berlin, where German wines are particularly well presented.
China-Restaurant Hot Spot
Not only Berlin´s hot spot for excellent Chinese food but also for one of the best Riesling wine lists in the city. Those who still think that Chinese knowledge of alcoholic drinks stops at plum wine should try quenching proprietor Jianhua Wu´s hellishly hot ox tongue and tripe Fuqi Feipian with a dry, mineral Riesling. Read more
In Berlin you cannot avoid mentioning the “mother” of the up-market wine bars, now one of the best restaurants in Germany. Founded in the Chausseestrasse in 1999 by the late Lars Rutz, it was the first and for a long time only address in the east of the city for wine connoisseurs who wanted to enjoy their wines without all the fuss and jargon. Read more
Where the barbed wire-protected inner Berlin wall used to be, today vines stand sentinel on the terrace. Where in the past the Stasi interrogated East German defectors, you can now clink glasses at the Mauerwinzer with wines from the east and west. Read more
Schmidt Z&Co (Steglitz)
Schmidt Z&Co also runs under the name Vinophil Genusswerkstatt (“Epicurian Workshop for Lovers of Fine Wine”) but that sounds a bit pretentious. But those who have had the chance to sit and eat in the light-filled, high-ceilinged shop with over 500 wines on the shelves will know what is meant. Read more
The Weinerei “family” is long-established in Berlin, widespread and became famous throughout Europe for their “pay what you think it is worth” system. You eat, you drink – not plonk but estate wines – and afterwards instead of a bill on the table you “pay what you want” sounds like the first step to financial ruin. Read more