PREMIUM

Ten top Bordeaux wine bars

While a tour of Bordeaux’s vineyards is a must for wine connoisseurs, you can sample some of the finest wines – from the region and beyond – without even leaving the city, says Jennifer Dombrowski

Le Bar à Vin

  • 3 Cours du 30 Juillet

What we like about it Bar à Vin is a Bordeaux institution, known to locals as the CIVB, because it’s run by the conseil interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, the government organisation responsible for representing all the appellations within the Bordeaux wine region. Located in a gorgeous space just steps away from the Grand Théâtre, this is also one of the largest wine bars you’ll find in Bordeaux.

Wine list The list changes frequently, but a good selection from across the 60 Bordeaux appellations is offered by the glass. The range includes Crémant de Bordeaux, Sauternes, 1855 classed growths and wines from both the Right and Left Banks.

What to order An excellent first stop for anyone interested in discovering Bordeaux wines, with some of the best by-the-glass prices in the city. Try the knowledgeable staff recommendations for best wines of the moment.

Un Château en Ville

  • 25 rue Saint-James

What we like about it A newer addition to the wine scene, Un Château en Ville is the first château-owned wine bar in Bordeaux city. It’s not only a place to enjoy wines from Entre-Deux-Mers, but somewhere to interact and engage with the winemaker.

Wine list An exclusive selection of wines only from Château Lestrille in the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation.

What to order Try the tasting flight for €6, which includes a 6cl glass each of Château Lestrille’s white, rosé and red wines. The charcuterie boards are designed to be shared among friends, with ingredients changing seasonally to reflect the best of Bordeaux. The alcohol licence here does require customers to eat a little something, but small tapas ranging from €1-€2 are also available.

Le Métropolitain

  • 49 Cours d’Alsace-et-Lorraine

What we like about it A family-owned-and-run wine bar in the heart of old Bordeaux. Popular with locals, this is a fun spot where the menu comes clipped to old vinyl records. It can be tough to get a table here without a reservation, so do book ahead.

Wine list The focus is on finding fine wines from all over France and beyond, and the 150 references include new world wines from as far afield as South Africa and Chile.

What to order Le Métropolitain is passionate about helping you discover new wines. Order the red or white blind tasting formula for €5 per glass, and be completely surprised by the wine served in black glasses. Try the cheese and charcuterie board, which is served with the family’s delicious homemade marmalade.

Chez Le Pépère

  • 19 rue Georges Bonnac

What we like about it This much-loved local hangout is eclectic and lively. Between regular concerts, swing every Thursday and Dixieland jazz on the first Tuesday of each month, the locals are always singing and dancing in this wine bar – often in the Occitan language of the southwest.

Wine list This list offers a good selection from around France at exceptional prices, thanks to the owner purchasing direct from winemakers. Chez Le Pépère is also an absinthe bar.

What to order Try the Ving Song Saucissong tasting for €10, which includes four tasting glasses of your choice and a tapa. Also sample Chez Le Pépère’s very own L’Absinthe Nitouche, which is distilled locally.

Vins Urbains

  • 27 rue des Bahutiers

What we like about it On a winding street in the St-Pierre district, Vins Urbains is the creation of sommelier-turned-wine-bar-owner Jan Bussière. This small bar has a grate in the floor, giving its customers a glimpse into the well-stocked cellar below. It’s best to have a reservation at this local favourite.

Wine list The impressive list of 400 bins offers wines from around the world both by the glass and the bottle, along with a selection of magnums.

What to order Step outside of Bordeaux and try wines such as a Cahors Malbec by the glass. Indulge in the white truffle croque-monsieur, which is served sliced into bite-sized sandwiches.

Max Bordeaux

  • 14 Cours de l’Intendance

What we like about it While wine bars in Bordeaux come and go, Max Bordeaux has been a part of the city’s wine scene for a decade. This bar and shop was the first to offer premier grand cru classé wines by the glass. It also offers private workshops, plus events such as wine and jazz evenings, and vertical tastings with château owners.

Wine list There are 48 wines offered via the Enomatic machines, ranging from €1-€30 per glass.

What to order If you’ve ever dreamed of savouring the sweet golden drops of Château d’Yquem, one of Bordeaux’s most expensive and coveted wines, then a visit to Max Bordeaux is a must. Cheese boards and charcuterie plates are also available.

Comptoir St Vincent

  • 3 rue Emile Duployé

What we like about it Specialising in natural and biodynamic wines, this bar was opened in December 2018 by a couple passionate about wine and gastronomy. They personally select every wine and have visited the vineyards of most of their producers.

Wine list The 55 bins, mainly from France, are all natural or biodynamic.

What to order The Corsican selection here is diverse and worth exploring. Try Domaine Pero Longo, Le Lion de Roccapina Rouge, which pairs beautifully with the tempting charcuterie board.

Le Wine Bar

  • 19 rue des Bahutiers

What we like about it A little slice of Italy in Bordeaux. Named one of the top 20 wine bars in France by Terre de Vins magazine, it stocks wines from around the world. Owners Giancarlo and Emmanuel and their team of clued-up staff have made this wine bar a long-time local favourite.

Wine list Giancarlo has selected more than 300 wines from around the world, including 87 from Bordeaux, 88 from around France, 85 from Italy and 76 from the rest of the world. Around 60 of these wines are offered by the glass.

What to order Barolo lovers will appreciate the selection of bottles offered at this St-Pierre district wine bar. It pairs wonderfully with the bar’s other speciality – an Italian cheese and charcuterie plate.

Les Trois Pinardiers

  • 2 rue Georges Bonnac

What we like about it New to the city’s urban wine trail, Les Trois Pinardiers was opened just over a year ago, by three friends who share a passion for wine. This bar and shop has 100 wines – each available by the glass.

Wine list Just 30 of the wines here are from Bordeaux; most of the rest come from around France, but there’s also a unique range of bottles that you won’t encounter in many other wine bars, from countries including Bulgaria and Israel. All wines are available by the glass, thanks to Coravin.

What to order The wine list changes monthly. This is the place to try interesting wines – from all over the world – that are difficult to find elsewhere in Bordeaux.

Les Doux Secrets d’Hélène

  • 41 rue Neuve

What we like about it Hidden away just steps from Bordeaux’s Grosse Cloche, Les Doux Secrets d’Hélène is practically a secret itself; it’s not a wine bar you’ll just stumble upon. With the cosy couches, antique sewing machines repurposed as tables, and a massive fireplace, it’s the kind of place you visit for a romantic evening out or for a quiet conversation with friends over wine and gourmet bites.

Wine list Former sommelier Hélène Orhon has curated a list with 300 references mostly from around France, but wines from Croatia, Italy, Chile and South Africa feature too.

What to order Orhon is incredibly knowledgeable and it’s easy to discover lesser-known wines here, with a good selection by the glass and bottle. If it’s early in the week, she’ll be happy to open most bottles to sample by the glass. Try the gourmand pairing for €15, which comes with five different decadent bites crafted with local and seasonal products. The menu changes weekly.


Jennifer Dombrowski has lived in Bordeaux since 2016. She publishes Luxe Adventure Traveler


See also:

Jane Anson’s pick of new Bordeaux wine bars to visit

Best Bordeaux hotels for wine lovers