Apéro, Are you more Grape or Grain?
A few glasses in an intimate wine bar is a quintessential Bordeaux experience
Le Point Rouge
This glamorous, cavernous establishment only opened in 2015, and is already a Bordeaux institution. The 1000-reference wine list spans the globe; luckily sommeliers are on hand to help you decipher it. Excellent tapas are served, with bellota ham displayed in a vast humidor.
1, quai de Paludate, 05 56 94 94 40
In the heart of the Chartrons, once the stomping ground of wine merchants from all over Europe, this wine shopcum-bar is cosy and welcoming at any time of day or night. The owners have created a hybrid space in which to buy or drink wines from all over the world. Female viticulturists are championed. Bellota hams, local cheeses and casseroles accompany the wine.
18, rue de Notre-dame, 05 56 81 49 17
Les Trois Pinardiers
Fans of this brilliant company which delivers wine in under 30 minutes will welcome the news that they’ve just opened their own bar-cave in central Bordeaux. A bar-cave translates as wine boutique-cum-wine bar. There are 90 wines available.
2, rue Georges-bonnac, 05 54 52 21 52
This tiny bar a few paces from Bordeaux’s Place Pey Berland only opened in 2013, but has very quickly become a favourite haunt of young oenophiles. It offers rare tipples from small producers, as well as highly drinkable wines from larger domaines by the glass at great prices (€4-7.50). Creatively-conceived small plates such as tuna rillettes with ponzu lime, black pudding macarons are also spot on.
43, rue de Cheverus, 09 81 86 43 43
Since 2015 there’s been an explosion of craft breweries in this traditionally wine-forward town.
P.I.P. Brewery and Lab
PIP stands for Pression Imparfaitement Parfaite, or ‘perfectly imperfect draft beer’. This ‘collaborative’ brewery has its own teaching laboratory complete with spacious beer garden where courses are run. PIP produce a range of blonde, white, red and IPA beers which they distribute in delis and bars throughout the city. Book courses online.
2, rue Achard, 06 77 38 68 09
Bordeaux Beer Factory
Paul & Nico studied wine and spirits right here in Bordeaux, but were more seduced by the craft beer movement when it came to launching their careers. This summer will see the opening of their onsite brew-pub. Products include an American Ale, an English IPA and a Herbal Wheat beer.
64, rue Borie, 06 73 18 47 63
La P’tite Martial Brewery
This small brewery in the Chartrons is the only female-run brewery in town. All of Lydia Servary’s high-fermentation beers are hand-made - no industrial machinery is involved, the beer is proudly vegan and organic and there’s 0% waste. Brewery tours and tastings are held every second Saturday of the month. Call or email to book.
40, rue Sursan, 07 82 79 82 79
Paul and Vincent are two young brewers with a passion for experimentation. They brew up a new idea each month, some of their more whacky creations include Vanilla Milkshake IPA and Midnight Snack Milky Porter. Even their permanent collection is pretty original, including a basil-lime white beer and a sorachi-oat stout. Their tap-room is coming soon, so watch this space, meanwhile their beer is served all over town.
5, avenue du Dr-schinazi, 07 62 13 94 69
Solena, has caught the attention of the Michelin guide who offer high praise of the tiny restaurant’s market-driven cuisine. Chef, Victor Ostronzec plays skilfully with just three ingredients per dish. Bold flavours are combined to stunning effect in his ‘surprise menus’. You’ll just have to take it on trust that the Solena experience is an unmissable one. The menu du marche is priced at €39 representing excellent value for such artful cuisine.
5, rue Chaffour. 05 57 53 28 06
First and foremost a moodily-lit lounge-bar, Harmony and Jérôme Billot’s Madame Pang also serves outrageously delicious dim sum. Cocktails are king here, the mixologists are happy to shake up the exact blend your heart desires. Asian beers and Chinese wines are another strong suit. The dim sum is fusion-style, Thai humous with peanuts works surprisingly well, as does Fish & Chips with Tartare Cantonese. Don’t miss out on the signature crunchy chicken, nor the Bao with lacquered pork.
16, rue de la Devise. 05 56 38 47 13
This cosy brasserie opened on February 1st this year and has already attracted local enthusiasm. Decor is warm and cocooning, part-industrial chic, part-scandinavian hyggelig. The young chef, Léo Forget presents poultry and meats which melt in the mouth alongside velvety vegetable purées. Artful presentation and a playful approach to celebrated local produce are his signature. The Rue Fondaudège should be on every tourist’s bucket list - this quintessential Bordeaux street showcases the city’s bourgeois charms; elegant architecture, bijoux boutiques and intimate bistrots abound. 98, rue Fondaudège. 05 57 83 38 24
The shop front of the Conserverie Converserie.
High style at the Point Rouge.
Bordeaux red wine.
Paul Esparre and Vincent Morin, the founderbrewers at Azimut.
Asparagus/pistachio at Solena.
Chocolate ‘Kayambe’ with black sesame and liquorice at Solena.