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Buenos Aires wine shops: 10 to visit

Passionate sommeliers in Buenos Aires are spearheading a new breed of vinoteca, capturing the hearts and minds of the next generation of drinkers.

Vino is integral to Argentine culture. Imports can be prohibitively expensive, but – despite Argentina’s volatile economy – domestic wine consumption remains steady. Local wines are even more affordable for international visitors and many vinotecas (wine shops) hold tastings in both English and Portuguese (as well as Spanish, of course).

Over the past five years, many sommeliers have flown their restaurant coops and launched solo projects. These new vinotecas offer expert advice and stock interesting, hard-to-find wines from smaller Argentinian producers whose wines don’t usually reach the larger wine retailers (such as Ligier).

Porteños (as Buenos Aires residents are known) have been particularly captivated by the development of hybrid vinoteca-restaurants – offering wines at retail prices, alongside food. Aldo’s Vinoteca led this initial charge in 2011; Naranjo Bar (@naranjo_bar), a hipster haven serving small plates and eye-catching labels, followed suit in 2020 and a movement has since spawned, including Diviiino’s three locations and Veredita de Vinos. Other worthy mentions include Vinoteca SOIL in Recoleta, Ozono in Parque Patricios and Lo de Joaquín Alberdi in Palermo Soho.


Buenos Aires wine shops: 10 of the best

Anchoíta Cava (@anchoitacava)

Grab a takeaway bottle or be lured inside this compact vinoteca and bar that’s bursting with energy. Renowned sommelier Valeria Mortara leads the dynamic team here (and at sibling restaurant, the Michelin green-star Anchoíta, a block away), serving more than 50 wines by the glass, in-house cured charcuterie and more than 100 cheeses. The street-side tables are bustling with sommeliers keen to hone their palates on Achoíta’s stock of hard-to-find (at least in Argentina) international wines. Pull up a stool inside for a more relaxed vibe. Anchoíta Cava opens from midday, Tuesday to Sunday. No bookings.


La Cava de Lucia

During the pandemic, newly minted sommelier Lucia Cordera curated mixed cases of wines for consumers. She was so successful that she opened a bricks-and-mortar store in 2022 – a stunning, modern space in Las Cañitas, adorned with beautiful artwork and minimalist, Scandi-style furnishings. Cordera organises weekly tastings for consumers, with both boutique producers and traditional wineries. All are paired with cheese and charcuterie, served at an enchanting communal table.

Lucia

Credit: Lucia Cordera


La Cueva de Musu (@mr.wines)

In 2014, wine aficionado Fernando ‘Musu’ Musumeci converted a launderette in the offbeat Caballito neighbourhood and opened La Cueva (the cave), quickly garnering a dedicated following through word of mouth. Musumeci introduced drinkers to a bold new wine world, attracting those who had tired of supermarket offerings. He keeps an eagle eye out for bargains as well as interesting wines from smaller producers, and the lesser-known side projects of winemakers from larger bodegas.


Lardito

Behind the floor-to-ceiling street-side window, lies one of Buenos Aires’ hippest vinotecas, that doubles up as a casual restaurant. Since opening in April 2022, Lardito has inspired a new generation of wine lovers. Book a spot at the impossibly long communal table – made from polished granite and adorned with towering vases of gerberas – or sip on the outdoor patio. The 150-strong selection has been expertly curated by sommeliers Pipe Colloca, Julián Palomieri and Lourdes Calo. ‘Put simply, we stock wines we like – both conventional and unconventional,’ says Collaca. Star dishes for sharing include Japanese tataki and xiaolongbao (Chinese steamed buns).

Lardito wine bar

Credit: Lardito


La Vinícola (@la.vinicola)

La Vinícola is one of (Catena Zapata winemaker) Alejandro Vigil’s many side projects. Stocking more than 1,500 wines, from Argentina’s largest bodegas to small-scale independent projects, it’s located in the heart of trendy Palermo Soho. (There’s also a store in Mendoza.) Led by a team of four sommeliers, it’s directed by Paola Mattera, who always asks aficionados ‘what exactly do you like?’ Try before you buy, enjoying a glass outside on the deck with a plate of cured meats.

La Vinicola in Buenos Aires

Credit: Fernanda


Nilson (@nilson.une)

Tucked away in the southern side of the legendary Mercado de San Telmo, this trusted wine shop and bar allows curious punters to soak up the market’s ambience with a glass of something tasty in hand. Sommelier Samantha Nilson is determined to open drinkers’ minds to new styles and varieties. With a list of 20 wines available by the glass (changing weekly), it’s easy to traverse all the colours of Argentina’s wine rainbow here.


Pain et Vin

In a prime location in trendy Palermo Soho, Pain et Vin (Bread and Wine) caters to an international clientele who want to taste the diversity of Argentina’s terroir. Sommelier Eleonora Jezzi opened Pain et Vin in 2013 with her baker husband Ohad Weiner, who kickstarted the local sourdough movement. Keen to educate, Jezzi’s young sommelier team leads two tastings a day in both English and Spanish, delving into the 250-strong cellar selection. The by-the-glass list changes daily and there’s a substantial selection available via Coravin, too.


Tinte

Andy Donadio made a name for herself at Oporto Almacén restaurant a decade ago and was crowned Argentina’s best sommelier in 2022. During Covid, Andy teamed up with Oporto’s Rodrigo Colombres to create Tinte, an online wine store focusing on Argentinian wines. The 300-strong list covers everything from well-known brands such as Catena Zapata to next-gen Pielihueso’s El Gallo Clara, an innovative blend of red, rosé and skin-contact white wines. Tinte also hosts intimate in-person tastings for small groups (up to 12 guests).


Vino El Salvador

Guile Carnevali honed his service skills at top Buenos Aires restaurants including the former World’s 50 Best-ranked Tegui (now closed). He’s since launched Soma and Aurea, two distributors that spotlight small producers. Vino El Salvador (the playful name means ‘Wine is our saviour’), is the direct-to-consumer arm, stocking brands such as Finca Suarez and Onofri, as well as hard-to-find and collector wines. Look out for magnums from Bodega Chacra, Zuccardi and the new kid on the block, Raquis. The store also sources interesting verticals: for example, Noemia J Alberto Malbec (2018–2021), Casa Yagüe Sauvignon Blanc (2018–2021) and Ver Sacrum Geisha de Jade (2016–2022).

Vino El Salvador

Credit: Vino El Salvador


Vini Bar (@vini__bar)

Low-intervention labels are at the heart of Vini, a wine bar and store, with a 90-wine list curated by sommelier Luciano Sosto. Favourites include Bodega Chacra’s Syrah and Canopus’ cool-climate Pintom Pinot Noir. Take wines away, or enjoy a flight of whatever’s open that day, watching the world pass by from behind the sash window. Note that Vini is one of few vinotecas to open Mondays (closed on Tuesdays instead).

Vini Bar

Credit: Nicolas Quercia


Winemakers Vinoteca – Bar de Vinos (@winemakers.vinoteca)

Winemakers Vinoteca hosts one of Buenos Aires’ best happy ‘hours’, from 5-8pm daily, offering two-for-one on a selection of 10 wines by the glass. Sommelier Juan Casarsa stocks more than 400 wines, focusing on small producers. The private salon in the back often sees oenologists leading guided tastings; recent guests included Gonzalo Tamagnini of Uco Valley’s Desquiciado Wines.


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