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Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out

Time:2020-05-23 00:57wine - Red wine life health Click:

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It is a great time to be a wine drinker in Shanghai. Once upon a time, you had two options: Lafite-Rothschild mixed with Sprite on the rocks or a bottle of local plonk like Dragon Seal.

But tastes have changed dramatically over the years. While the moneyed class still drinks for status, a younger, hipper generation drinks for taste.

In 2020, the prevailing trend can be summed up in two words: natural wines. While there is no certified designation to make a wine officially "natural", most makers of natural wines use organically farmed grapes and forego filtration, fining, and the addition of sulfites and other preservatives. The results can be funky, cloudy, intriguing, unpredictable.

Adjacent to this is the biodynamic movement. This is a holistic agricultural method that employs lots of legitimate practices (composting, soil management, biodiversity,) combined with a bit of hokum (planetary alignments, vortexes).

Also, orange is the new black. Allowing the skins of white grapes to macerate in the juice before pressing imparts an orange hue and extra dimensions of body and flavor. More and more places around town are offering orange wines, and they're definitely worth a try.

NERD LEVEL ONE
Kru

199 Hengshan Lu, near Yongjia Lu View ListingTaxi Printout



Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



Good for: People watching

The Story: This Taiwanese tapas and wine bar has prime real estate in the central courtyard of Yongping Li. Good for watching people while lounging in their outdoor and outward-looking seating. Kru's very user-friendly wine list is organized by characteristics, e.g. light, full-bodied, mineral, dry, fruity. It's a solid but safe selection of familiar grapes and regions. You've got your Cab blends, Tempranillos, Chards, Pinots, etc. They cost anywhere from 300 to 1,500rmb. "House" wines go by the glass or half carafe for 68-190rmb.

Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



The Pick: The creative menu of fusion-y Taiwanese dishes makes up for a relatively tame wine list. In English, it reads like a fine dining word free-association menus: "Beef Cheek. Tomato. Red Wine. Sauerkraut. Linguine". (It's Taiwanese beef noodles.) Or "Braised Pork. Scallop. Rice." (Lu rou fan.)

Villa Le Bec

321 Xinhua Lu, near Dingxi Lu View ListingTaxi Printout



Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



Good for: Special occasions.

The Story: In 2014, fêted French chef Nicolas Le Bec left Lyon for Shanghai. Lucky us, because he has since opened one of the finest restaurants in town. His upstairs wine bar is quiet and intimate. Pictures of his wedding are on the walls, making you feel like a house guest. Wine offerings are almost exclusively French. No surprises there.

Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



All the requisite regions are represented along with a few surprises. Corsican dessert wine? And while you can drop some serious money here, Le Bec also imports a lot of the wines himself, passing the (relative) savings on to you.

The Pick: It's nearly impossible to go wrong here. Get a half carafe of anything and Le Bec's signature pâté en croute.

Wineapp

BFC Mall, South Building, 1/F, 600 Zhongshan Dong Er L... View ListingTaxi Printout



Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



Good for: Drinks after shopping.

The Story: Wineapp is as charming as an airport lounge and its branding has an unsettling corporate sheen to it. But what it lacks in character it makes up in friendly service and a surprisingly vast wine list.

Its roughly 16 pages focus heavily on Italy, but you'll also find selections from France, South Africa, Uruguay and China. The prices are reasonable too, with some bottles going for as low as 158rmb plus an annoying 20% bottle service surcharge.

Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



The Pick: A glass of Barbaresco for a reasonable 98rmb.

NERD LEVEL TWO
Atto Primo

Bund 5, 2/F, 20 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu View ListingTaxi Printout



Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



Good for: Italian wine tourism

The Story: Atto Primo carries some of the best Italian wines in Shanghai. The sommelier is... the chef, Gianluca Serafina. His list showcases many big-name producers from the Boot. You'll find anything from high-end Italian bubblies like Franciacorta to heavy-hitting Super Tuscans by the likes of Antinori and Frescobaldi. It also features big-name Bordeaux and some highly exclusive bottles from emergent Chinese estates, like Ao Yun, which is made in Shangri-La. As you'd expect from a place like this, the price range is vast. You can go as low 78rmb for a glass of prosecco or you can spend upwards of 3,780rmb for a bottle of Sassicaia.

Purple Teeth: A Dozen Wine Bars and Restaurants That Really Stand Out



The Pick: Reds from Sicily or Puglia, like Tasca d’Almerita or Nero d’Avola. Lots of value from those regions.

Epicerie & Caviste 62

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