Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Schiller s Favorite Winebars in Beijing, 2014, China

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with a Distributor of the Wines of Stefan Graf von Neipperg, including La Mondotte and Canon La Gaffeliere at TopWine China 2014

A Morning at Château Canon La Gaffeliere in Saint Emilion with Owner Count Stefan von Neipperg, Bordeaux
The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany

China has become the 5th largest wine market in the world (following the US, France, Italy and Germany and ahead of the UK, Argentina, Spain, Australia and Portugal). Annual wine consumption in China has reached 16.8 million hectoliters, compared with 29.2 million hectoliters in the US. China is in the top 10 group of wine consuming countries.

With less than a liter per year, the Chinese per capita consumption is however dismal. In comparison, the French drink 50 liters on average and the Germans 25 liter. But the number of Chinese consumers is huge. Thus, overall wine consumption is large.

The Beijinger: With the blossoming of Beijing’s bar scene as a whole over the past few years, the city has developed a taste for wine that has sustained a number of bars specifically dedicated to fine wines. At the same time, wine lists in many bars have expanded and improved, and distributors and enthusiasts alike host regular tastings across town. Wine doesn’t need to be an elitist pursuit, and many bars offer affordable wines to suit everyone from big spending connoisseurs to amateur quaffers on a budget. Wine fans will love these spots.

Pictures: Christian and Annette Schiller, ombiasy PR and WineTours, in Beijing

The following are my favorite wine bars in Beijing. I have been to many of them during my recent visit, but not all of them. The latter were included as “to do items” for my forthcoming return to Beijing later this year.


The Beijinger: This China World Hotel establishment remains one of the best places in town to sip wine amidst its stunning downstairs bar featuring regular live music and in its second-level restaurant serving fine European cuisine.

Daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm; bar 11am-midnight. 2/F, China World Hotel, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District. (6505 2266 ext 38, 6505 3318) 朝阳区建国门外大街1号中国大饭店二层

Baie des Anges 天使港湾

Visitbeijing.com.cn: Nestled in the winding hutongs behind Houhai, La Baie des Anges is one of Beijing’s most charming, little wine dens. Owned by French wine connoisseurs who really understand their wine, the bar emanates an authenticity and certain chic that is inherently French. The bar offers a vast choice of French wines and a Mediterranean food menu is also available. Wines can be ordered by the bottle or glass and enjoyed to the chill-out sounds of French tunes and jazz music.

5 Nanguanfang Hutong, Xicheng, Beijing, China
Opening hours: 18:00-02:00 (closed Mondays)
Tel: 010 6657-1605

Bordeauxthèque – Pékin

La Bordeauxthèque is part of a department store, the Galeries Lafayette. It is open during the day and closes in the evening, when the Galeries Lafayette closes. But it has probably the best Bordeaux portfolio in Beijing, if not in China.

La Bordeauxthèque in Beijing has a sister store in Paris at the Galeries Lafayette and is owned by the Moueix family. L’Intendant in Bordeux City is also owned by the Moueix family (as is Chateau Palmer).

With its friendly atmosphere, its French menu and its outside terrace, La Bordeauxthèque resembles a French Café. I had an excellent Salad du Chef and a few Bordeaux wines by the glass.

Pictures: With Xiaohua Yin, Assistant Manager, at La Bordeauxthèque – Pékin

The portfolio of La Bordeauxthèque – Pékin comprises 600 references, with Margaux, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion, Cheval Blanc, Petrus and Yquem being the core of the portfolio.

Xiaohua Yin, Assistant Manager: Apart from these mythical labels, wine lovers can indulge themselves with a selection of very good and affordable Bordeaux. As to vintages, the most recent wines stand along side legendary years, such as 1945, 1961, 1982, 1990, 2000 ou 2005. A fabulous vertical of Yquem goes back to 1899 ! There is also an exceptional variety of formats : from half bottles to the rare imperial (6 L), with a good selection of magnums.

5ème étage, No.110 Xidan North Street, Beijing.
Tél : +8610 5979 8998
Ouvert 7 jours sur 7 de 10h00 à 22h00

Cambulac Italian Wine Enoteca

The Beijinger: Italian wine wholesalers in a beautiful courtyard setting filled with Republican-era antiques and a pleasant rooftop patio. Bottles include regional Italian wines, including Moscato D’Asti and Brachetto. Single bottles available to taste and purchase, and there is a menu offering a limited range of Italian dishes.

Daily 10am-midnight. 32 Beibingmasi Hutong (east of Nanluogu Xiang), Dongcheng District.(6402 7707) 东城区北兵马司胡同32号(南锣鼓巷东边)

Capital M

The Beijinger: A range of fine wines and classic cocktails are on offer at the bar, and small dishes, canapés and desserts are served in the Oval Room to the left of the bar from 5pm-midnight. The terrace affords one of the most impressive views in the city, while the ornate dining room, with its signature parquet flooring and elegant lighting, is a suitably opulent setting for European culinary indulgence. Voted "Outstanding for Impressing Visitors" in the Beijinger's 2010 Reader Restaurant Awards.

Mon-Fri 11am-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am-5pm, 6-10.30pm (afternoon tea between 2.30-5pm). 3/F, 2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street (southeast of Qianmen), Chongwen District. (6702 2727) 崇文区前门步行街2号3层


The Beijinger: The ever-popular Kerry Centre lounge boasts its own extensive collection of wines that you can sip while talking business or jamming along to the nightly jazz- and blues-oriented live music. Happy hour 5-8pm daily.

Daily 24hrs. 1/F, Kerry Centre Hotel, 1 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District. (6561 8833, ask for Centro) 炫酷, 朝阳区光华路1号嘉里中心饭店1层

Pictures: At Centro. 1 Chinese Yuan = 0.16 US Dollar. Basically, you have to divided the Chinese Yuan amount by 6 to get the US Dollar amount.

China Bar

The Park Hyatt Beijing hotel bar in the 65th floor. Park Hyatt: A contemporary wine and cocktail bar lounge with the best views of any drinking venue in the city, serving vintage wines and champagnes by the glass, cocktails, whiskeys and cognacs, along with spectacular views and live entertainment.

Sunday to Wednesday: 5:30pm-1:00am; Thursday to Saturday and Public Holidays: 5:30pm-2:00am
Location: Level 65
Tel: +86 10 85671838/1840

Pictures: At China Bar in the 65th floor. 1 Chinese Yuan = 0.16 US Dollar. Basically, you have to divided the Chinese Yuan amount by 6 to get the US Dollar amount.


The Beijinger: Despite a new name and new location, Enoterra - previously Enoteca of The Place - remains a favorite amongst winos throughout Beijing. A rare find in Beijing, this Shanghai transplant is a classy, unpretentious wine bar, with reasonable prices and decent food (tapas). As Enoterra is an independent distributor, the wine list offers diverse and unusual selections, with bottles starting at RMB 98. Voted "Outstanding Wine Selection" in the Beijinger's 2010 Reader Restaurant Awards.

Daily 10am-2am. Sanlitun, D405, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District. (5208 6076) 三里屯, 朝阳区三里屯北街81号那里花园D405室
Picture: At Enoterra

Grill 79

The Beijinger: One of the most extensive wine lists in Beijing includes premium selections of New World wines. With views reaching all the way to the rooftops of the Forbidden City, Grill 79 is a captivating destination for international dining. Best enjoyed on a clear day. Savor the delicate flavors of simple, wild and fresh ingredients that each season has to offer. Chinese and foreign credit cards accepted.

Mon-Thu and Sun noon-2am; Fri-Sat noon-4am. 79/F, China World Summit Wing, China World Trade Center Phase 3, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District. (6505 2299 ext 6424)朝阳区朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸大酒店79楼


The Beijinger: Modern wine bar serving well over a dozen wines by the glass, as well as small plates of tasty contemporary European cuisine. There are no starters, no mains, no sides: instead, pick a selection of small plates served fresh out of the open kitchen, in no particular order: once ready they get straight to your table. The team behind the popular Mosto created this space and brought in Enomatic wine dispensers to allow people to enjoy and explore different wines.

Daily 11am-11pm. 3/F, Sanlitun Village South(close to Element Fresh), Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District. (6415 7207) 朝阳区三里屯路19号三里屯Village南区3楼(近新元素)

Palette Vino 派乐坊

Echinacities.com: Palette Vino is a true wine connoisseur’s paradise in Beijing. Originally just one of its kind, the original Shunyi venue has since given birth to a smaller offspring in a quaint hutong by Dongsi Shiyitiao. However, for the most authentic wine experience, it’s still best to go that extra bit further to Shunyi District. Here, wine connoisseurs are greeted by dark colored wooden floors, a wooden roof top, a fireplace and most importantly a menu with over 300 different wines. Unlike many other establishments that pay as much if not more attention to the food, Palette Vino aces in devoting the majority of its emphasis on the grape.

The Beijinger: Oenophiles recommend this siheyuan wine shop and restaurant for its gregarious and knowledgeable staff, wide selection of bottles divided by grape variety - including some vintages imported directly by the owners such as Clos du Val - and pleasant adjoining wine bar, where you can sample your purchases.

Shunyi Branch
Pinnacle Plaza, Tianzhu Development Zone, Shunyi District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8046 4461
Opening hours: 12:00-23:00

Dongsi Shiyitiao Branch
5 Dongsi Shiyitiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6405-4855
Opening hours: 11:00 – late

Pudao Wines

A wine store with an excellent portfolio and an enomatic machine. There is plenty of seats and tables where you can sit down and try the wines from the enomatic machine or any other bottle. The Riesling Revolution Show had their big event there, when they came to Beijing.

Unit F1-01, Tower AB, The Office Park, No. 10 Jintong West Road - North of Hanwei Plaza, East of the Place - Chaoyang District, Beijing, P.R. China, 100020
Tel: 010 8590 3020

Pictures: At Pudao with Store Assistan Manager Hector Jiang

Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant

Visitbeijing.com.cn: Housed in the funky, multi-colored building of Hotel G on Gongti Xilu, Scarlett Wine Bar is a popular hang-out for young executives and stylish folk. As a restaurant and bar combo, Scarlett offers an extensive wine menu with over 80 varieties that can be coupled with a wide choice of tasty cold cuts, tapas and cheeses. Scarlett excels in providing good quality food and wine in trendy settings and most importantly at quite reasonable prices.

Hotel G, 7A Gongti Xilu (in the alley leading to Julong Garden), Chaoyang District朝阳区工体西路甲7号北京极栈内


Jim Boyce, Grape Wall of China: Wine fluidly fits into any experience at Temple, whether in the form of a bottle with dinner or Sunday brunch or a glass in the bar overlooking the venue grounds. And it fits most any budget, from lower-priced bottles such as Pikes White Mullet from Clare Valley in Australia for rmb210 and a Ferraton Pere et Fils from Cotes du Rhone in France at rmb220 to top-end Burgundy and Bordeaux for tens of thousands of rmb. In between are some 700+ wines on a list that leans toward France but not too heavily and includes more than a dozen countries thus making it possible to please most any palate.

嵩祝寺23号, Shatan N St, Dongcheng, Beijing, China
+86 10 8400 2232
11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Schiller’s Favorites

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