Buenos Aires is known for its bar and café scene, and of course Argentina is famous for its wines, so put these marvels together and what do you get? A godly nectar drink fest fit for a wine-ing king. Whether we are drinking by the glass, by the wine flight, by the bottle or by the case, let’s fill our copa to the brim and explore the city’s best wine-centric spots to drink our porteño lives away.
LA CAVA JUFRÉ
Nestled in a quiet corner in Villa Crespo, Cava Jufré has been a pioneer as one of the first wine bars to sell at vinotecas prices for a modest corkage fee. Wine enthusiast Lito Galeano knows what’s up when it comes to choosing wines, boasting a brilliant selection of boutique labels relatively unique and special. A cozy intimate space with exposed brick walls and a jovial community feel, don’t be surprised if the next table invites you to join their group while drunkenly whipping out a guitar and makeshift spoon-to-table drum to start a wine-induced jam session.
Recommended picks: With such an impressive wine cava, it’s hard to choose just one wine to drink. Start with chugging a bottle of Altos las Hormigas Malbec, and then ask Lito to hook you up with his favorite flavor of the week.
Jufre 201, Villa Crespo
Tues–Sat: 11:00am-1:30pm, 6:30pm-12:00am
PAIN ET VIN
A wine lover’s paradise ideal for boozy day drinking, Pain et Vin is the casual type of place you want hang around and embark on hours of bottle drinking, homemade sourdough bread eating, and exquisite cheese munching. Sommelier and owner, Eleanora Jezzi, personally picks each wine, and has a knack for curating a selection of bottles from smaller boutique wineries.
Recommended picks: For those who are unfamiliar with Argentine wines, Eleanora recommends to try a good Torrontés like Laborum from Bodega El Porvenir de Cafayate from Salta, and a Malbec like Malbec De Angeles. Argentine wine aficionados can move on to the serious stuff: like a Malbec blend from Clos de los Siete or RD from Bodega Tacuil in Salta.
Gorriti 5132, Palermo Soho
BAR DU MARCHÉ
Everyday is wine o’clock at this petit piece of Paris in Palermo. Part café, bistro, and restaurant, Bar du Marché is one of the only tiny gems in the city to enjoy a large selection of New World wines: wine by the glass, tasting size glass, small decanter, or half decanter. With over 50 vinos por copa from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, USA, France, Italy, and lesser-known Argentine labels, it makes for a haven to spend hours drinking and tasting new labels. Pair the wine with a wonderful charcuterie plate that could include finds like English cheddar, morbier, crottin de chavignol, saint maure, and Parma ham.
Recommended picks: Lots of good wines by the bottle and glass are coming out of Marché’s bar. Try some beloved sips likes Domaine Jean Bousquet Chardonnay Pinot Gris, Achaval Ferrer Quimera Blend, and Tinto Negro 1955 Vineyard Malbec.
Nicaragua 5946, Palermo Hollywood
With hundreds of wines from Argentina, Oporto is a prime stop for thirsty wine-rs looking to pick up a bottle, have a quick glass, and nibble on some old school porteño classic tapas. The whole second floor is devoted to wines, with over 500 labels sold at vinoteca prices. In the main dining room, there is a reduced wine list that changes monthly.
Recommended picks: Sommelier Andrea Donadio recommends Taylor’s Fine Tawny Port by the glass, a sweet wine excellent to pair with chocolate-based desserts. From the vinoteca, Andrea is really into the Montesco Agua de Roca Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from Passionate Wines, “it’s a fresh white wine, fruity, with a lot of refreshing acidity, ideal to drink and keep on drinking as an aperitif.”
11 de Septiembre 4152, Nuñez
While it’s true 878 is known as one of the best cocktail bars in Buenos Aires, it’s only fair that we praise their exceptional wine list. Owner Julián Diaz, who also happens to be a trained sommelier, has sommelier Marina Petersen leading the wine program. Unlike many bars which only serve Malbec from Mendoza, 878 offers a rotating list of interesting wines by the glass. Right now, there is a slew of Patagonian wines, displayed on a chalkboard over the bar that reads, “The South also exists.”
Recommended picks: Marina recommends the 006 Chardonnay 2013 from Bodega Aniello, Mainqué, Río Negro, Patagonia “I tried it and fell in love,” she says. Marina also suggests the Arroba Cabernet Sauvignon El Peral 2013, branding it the Jack Daniel’s of wines.
Thames 878, Villa Crespo
Mon–Fri: 7:00pm–close, Sat–Sun: 8:00pm–close
ALDO’S Vinoteca & Restorán
This wine bar in the heart of Buenos Aires is the child of wine expert and sommelier Aldo Graziani, who has a knack for creating a cool and colorful jazzy setting where wine is clearly the star of the show. Aldo’s boasts over 600 different wines, all chosen by the staff in blind tastings, and sold at vinoteca prices.
Recommended picks: Don’t miss the weekly tastings, where each Tuesday a guest winery shows off its collection. Some wineries that make an appearance? Bodega Chacra from Rio Negro, Patagonia, Bodega Tempus from Mendoza, and Bodega El Porvenir from Salta.
Moreno 372, San Telmo
Mon–Thurs, Sun: 11:00am–12:00am, Fri–Sat: 11:00am–1:00am
This Palermo Hollywood wine bar is so new, you can still smell the fresh paint on the walls. A two-story corner space, Trova specializes in wines by the glass, about 25 different kinds, which change regularly and are displayed on modern wooden wine holders behind the bar.
Recommended picks: Sommelier Alejandro Verbitsky recommends Lamadrid Gran Reserva Malbec 2009, a wine that has always caught his attention since he discovered it years ago; “It’s an ideal wine to pair with the Argentine meat diet since it’s well balanced and structured. Now is a great time to drink this vintage.” For those who are beginning to dabble in the world of vino, Alejandro recommends Ramanegra Reserva Red Blend 2011 from Bodega Casarena.
Honduras 5903, Palermo Hollywood
Tue–Fri: 6:00pm–1:00am, Sat: 7:00pm–2:00am
GRAN BAR DANZÓN
This Recoleta bar and restaurant has been going strong for 15 years for a good reason. Trendy and sleek with a lively bar vibe, Gran Bar Danzón is all about spreading the gospel of the glory of Argentine wines with a massive yet carefully chosen wine list. It’s the place for cocktails boozers and wine lovers to drink together in peace, harmony and alcohol.
Photo by Gran Bar Danzón.
Recommended picks: The man who runs the wine bar show is sommelier Esteban Pereira and decants pure magic, recommending two single vineyard wines from Casarena: Jamilla’s Vineyard S.V. Perdriel Malbec and Lauren’s Vineyard S.V. Agrelo Malbec.
Libertad 1161, Recoleta
Mon–Fri: 7:00pm–close, Sat: 8:00pm–4:00am, Sun: 8:00pm–close
Any restaurant where you can roll up at midnight and order a bottle of wine and a plate of grilled sweatbreads makes for a meat dream come true. Don Julio is THE steakhouse for wine obsessors in Buenos Aires – with an extraordinary wine list of some of the best this city has to offer, and empty wine bottles autographed by diners that surround the whole restaurant.
Recommended picks: Look like a pro and order the A Lisa Malbec 2012 from Bodega Noemía or a Tempus Pleno 2007 from Bodega Tempus Alba. Of course you can always ask the top-notch staff, who definitely know their wine stuff – owner Pablo Rivero makes wine school mandatory as part of training.
Guatemala 4699, Palermo Soho
A bistro from city’s famed chef Gonzalo Aramburu, this tiny corner spot in Constitución excels in the wine game just as much as the food coming out of the kitchen. The wines have all been chosen by the young and talented, Agustina de Alba, who has already won the spot as top sommelier in Argentina, two times.
Aramburu Bis; photo by Allie Lazar.
Recommended picks: Agustina carefully designed a wine list to perfectly complement the Modern Argentine cuisine menu. She recommends the beautiful Biuitful Malbec 2013 from Altamira and the AltoSur Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from Bodega Finca Sophenia.
Humberto Primo 1207, Constitución
WINE TASTING BONUS:
Lo de Joaquin Alberdi: Legendary Joaquin reigns over this wine shop and tasting room, where he offers weekly tastings hosted by wineries as well as private group tastings.
Vinoteca: A godly shrine to Argentine, wine set in the luxurious Park Hyatt. This first-class cheese and wine tasting created for those looking to try local premium wines.
Agustina de Alba: Voted best sommelier two times around, Agustina de Alba organizes highly customized private tastings in her Recoleta loft.
Pain et Vin: Take an unpretentious and fun crash course to learn the fundamentals of Argentine wines.
Sorrel Moseley-Williams: Journalist and sommelier-in-training, Sorrel Moseley-Williams, wines around on a weekly tour of Palermo visiting three wines shops and trying six different local wines. She also organizes private tastings.
Wine Tour Urbano: Roam around Buenos Aires, wine glass in hand, on a wine scavenger hunt.
ANUVA Wines: A basic lesson in Argentine wines catering to a mostly tourist clientele.