Ever feel like you want to stretch your wine drinking skills beyond the sauvignons and riojas we all know and love? There is literally a whole world of wine out there waiting to be discovered. But how do we even begin to navigate something that has been shrouded in mystery and pomp for so long? Here’s how – start tasting. There are some excellent wine venues around town working hard to shake off the snobbery, keen for you to get to grips with the grapes you will love. These places all offer thoroughly drinkable wine with the knowledge and teams to back them up…
Green Man Wines, 3 Terenure Road North, Dublin 6
This wonderful neighbourhood wine shop transforms into a splendid bar, with food Wednesday to Saturday evenings and it’s worth seeking out. They specialise in sourcing from artisan makers with lots of organic, biodynamic and natural wines. You won’t find your run of mill bottles here, so allow the knowledgeable team to coax you out of your comfort zone and try something new. Head here to drink something unexpected, to get great value and to spread your wine wings. They host regular tastings in store and brilliant pop-up dinners. Not to be missed.
Cavern on Baggot Street, 17 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4
Hidden beneath the unassuming Baggot Street Wine Shop, you’ll find Cavern, a brilliant wine bar with a fantastic cosy courtyard for sipping in. They’ve an excellent wine list filled with favourites and plenty of under-the-radar discoveries and you can also choose any bottles from the shop upstairs to drink in-house. Let the helpful team here guide you; they make you feel at ease no matter what you’re interested in drinking. On Tuesdays, they offer excellent wine flights, a great way to taste and learn a little and they always have fun and approachable events happening.
64 Wine, 64 Glasthule Road, Glasthule, Co Dublin
A bustling local wine shop with an exceptional offering – their full list covers hundreds of wines from around the world, but don’t let that scare you. The team here have remarkable knowledge of what they are stocking and they are keen to chat and help you choose something you will love. They have a notable selection of wines from small artisan producers with plenty of biodynamic, organic and everything in between. Grab a seat in the buzzy cafe where you can order food throughout the day and settle in for some enjoyable drinking. They host regular events, from tastings and jazz nights to themed dinners.
Piglet Wine Bar, 5 Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8
This tiny, sometimes chaotic, Italian bar oozes charm and has one of the finest and most fun wine lists in the city, which they themselves call ‘a carefully selected mess’. It simply means the more fashionable, natural and biodynamic wines cohabit with the better-known European appellations, so this is a great place to ease yourself into trying new things. The authentic Italian vibe and the relaxed approach to drinking helps a lot too, as does a wonderful menu of simple suppers and small plates. Don’t miss a drop – look out for their seasonal dinners, pop-ups and lively tasting events.
Ely Wine Bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2
A city staple at this stage, Ely still remains one of the best places to drink wine in Dublin. The cosy Georgian basement bar boasts over 500 wines by the bottle and 100 wines by the glass, so there is plenty to try. Wines are listed by grape variety rather than region to make it more approachable but the simple way to get what you’re looking for is to have a chat. These guys know what they are selling and if fine wines are your thing, they will guide you well. Keep an eye out for their interesting events, dinners and tastings often hosted by the winemakers themselves. A fun way to get to know what you’re drinking.