Bordeaux Wine Bars Recommended by a Local with a Map

Bordeaux wine bars are not so much about drinking and partying.  They are more about e enjoying a well-deserved leisure moment French-style: relaxed atmosphere, tasting, savouring and people-watching.

As a wine school student and then a wine guide in Bordeaux, I have been exploring the local wine bar scene and here are my top picks.

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This is my go-to place when I want to taste new wines from Bordeaux chateaux.  

Le Bar a Vin serves the widest selection of Bordeaux wines by glass with a purpose of presenting local wines to the public.

A list of about 30 wines includes reds, dry and sweet whites, rosés, clairets and sparkling and is updated every couple of weeks. 

Sommeliers are very knowledgeable and friendly. The wines are extremely well-priced.

Tip:  arrive before 6 pm to avoid a long wait to be seated.  In fact, Le Bar a Vin open at 11 am.  For the best tasting experience arrive early, ask for a table outside and c’est parti – you are in the central spot of Bordeaux with excellent wines and service at very reasonable price.

Le Bar a Vin is only serving simple bites to accompany your wine.  Plan dinner elsewhere.

The bar closes at 10 pm. Closed on Sundays.

If you want to spend an evening in the heart of Bordeaux social scene, come to Le Vertige.

Le Vertige is very friendly and modern.

The bar offers Bordeaux wines carefully selected by the young and energetic owner.  Order by the glass or share a bottle accompanied by high-quality creative local appetizers.

If you like to taste some excellent high-end French wines, Le Vertige offers tastings by the glass from the self-serve enomatic machines at the back of the bar.

Tip: Reserve a table outside and enjoy the historic rue de Parlement in the historic Quartier St. Pierre with its endless bars, restaurants and local crowds.

Aux 4 Coins du Vin is another bar in Quartier St. Pierre known for its impressive wine list featuring about 500 bottles from all over the world and of course, including some top names in Bordeaux.

Chloé et Benjamin, who graduated from the same wine school as me, are fond of wine and they are joined by several knowledgeable sommeliers who will help you select an interesting bottle.

Another cool experience is a sampling of over 40 wines from enomatic machines.  They change the selection of wines to taste almost daily so it is worth coming more than once. 

Reservations are highly recommended.

Unfortunately, there is no outside seating.

Tip: Buying a bottle is way less expensive than paying for small samples.  Mixed plates of appetizers are pretty generous.

Julo is off the beaten path in Quartier St. Michel.  

If you want an experience of a very small local bar, Julo is perfect.  

Here you will find a good selection of wine and cold cuts, cheeses, seafood and vegetable tapas.

Tip: Try to get a table outside and enjoy people-watching and the views of the magnificent St. Michel Cathedral on a sunset.

Au Bon Jaja is a local bar and a wine shop with a wide selection of natural and organic wines.

Simple and homey interior, and convival atmosphere with music played on vinyls.  

Tutiac is the first bistrot in France founded by French winemakers. 

The seating outside is very small, but you will find yourself in the center of Bordeaux social life on one of the oldest Bordeaux squares, place du Palais, with an excellent glass or a bottle (recommended) of French wine.

Good prices and very professional sommeliers. 

Choose from 450 wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Rhône, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Corse, Alsace, Jura, Savoie. The bar also offers wines from other wine regions of the world.

Pair your wine with cold cuts, cheeses, foie gras, smoked ham and even chocolates.

There are only a couple of tables outside on rue St James, one of the most atmospheric streets in Bordeaux.

Tip: An excellent place to taste unusual wines from various regions of France.  Do not focus on Bordeaux wines only.

Tip 2: If you are a larger group, reserve a cozy private lounge at the back of the bar.

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See my blog for tips on visiting Bordeaux and the vineyards.

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