Times, they are a-changin'. When it comes to wine anyway. The days of only being offered quarter bottles of red or a glass of mass-produced Pinot Grigio as standard are slowly coming to an end with new, chilled-out and approachable wine bars popping up all around town.
Here are six places working hard to end the snobbery around what’s in your glass while pouring drinkable, affordable, well-made wines and some tasty small plates to go with them...
The newly-opened Frank’s Pork and Bacon Shop is not a butcher, as the facade suggests, but a slick new wine bar from the team at Delahunt's which is located just down the street. Inside, you’ll find one big central table with high stools where they serve a concise food menu of fairly fancy small plates and an extensive menu of wines with at least 20 available by the glass.
The wines are fun, approachable and best of all, super affordable with glasses starting from €4.50. If you’ve more to spend, there’s plenty to try at the top-end of the menu too. It’s also a wonderful room to sit and work through a wine list in.
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Loose Canon Cheese & Wine, 29 Dury Street, Dublin 2.
Who hasn’t dreamed of opening a shop and filling it with exactly whatever you'd like to eat and drink? This is precisely what they’ve done at Loose Canon. Housed in the historic Georges Street Arcade, the shop’s simple, chic design nods to the product line up. Thoughtfully curated natural wines are displayed along the wall like pieces of art. There’s a fridge laden with all manner interesting Irish cheese and charcuterie. By day, shop for cheese and wine, or try their mouth-watering toasties. In the evenings, you can settle in for a glass of wine and cheese with meat boards.
Beo Wine Bar + Kitchen, 50a Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.
The latest addition to Stoneybatter is Beo Wine Bar + Kitchen where they specialise in vegan and organic food and wine. They have the most creative ‘cheese’ board I’ve seen - completely plant-based and raw. They make all of them in-house using an array of seeds, spices and probiotics.
The succinct wine list is all natural, organic and biodynamic with some really nice choices, they even have Irish Móinéir Strawberry wine. There’s so much new and interesting happening here that it feels like you’ll be able to find plenty of reasons to return again and again.
Related: Shhh, our ultimate list of bars in Dublin
Little Mikes, 63 Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin.
Michaels in Mount Merrion, a neighbourhood restaurant with a stellar reputation, recently opened Little Mikes, a few doors down serving wine, seafood and small plates. The emphasis here is on counter dining, with an ever-changing menu and a varied, accessible wine list with plenty by the glass.
They’ve lots to try with a nice mix of classics and some more adventurous stuff all chosen to compliment the wonderful food. And the food, of course, is seafood heavy with lobster, crab claws and prawns all featured and Lambay Island whelks that come with a ‘Try em, don’t like em, no charge!’ promise.
Tucked away on the side streets of the picture-perfect Portobello, you’ll find First Draft Coffee & Wine. By day, they dole out fantastic coffee with beans from Roasted Brown and treats. In the evenings, they casually morph into a chilled wine bar serving new and exciting wines from a concise and eclectic collection.
There’s plenty to catch your eye and palate. The small plates are kept simple with a cheese board, olives, almonds and sardines on toast. It is perfect for nibbling with drinks in this simple whitewash room, with walls adorned with hanging ferns and twinkling fairy lights.
"Spread your wine wings."
This wonderful neighbourhood wine shop transforms into a splendid bar with food from 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 the 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.
Feature Image: @Unsplash.com
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