Best Wine Bars in Shanghai
Over the last few years Shanghai has seen a crop of great new wine bars opening up all over the city, all of them catering to a quickly-growing population of local wine enthusiasts. The new additions range from Le Vin—a cozy, romantic spot with a wide selection of affordable French wines—to Wine Must, boasting one of the city’s most extensive wine lists; and from UVA, a popular wine bar for young professionals who appreciate a hip atmosphere and good wine (but don't care too much beyond choosing between red, white or rosé) to high-end cellars like Roosevelt Wine Cellar, where China’s wealthiest oenophiles vie to get their hands on incredibly rare, incredibly expensive vintages. Among all these choices, though, the most popular wine bar in Shanghai (and one of my favorites) is undoubtedly Dr. Wine, a trendy yet classic wine bar packed with a stylish crowd nearly every night.
Dr. Wine is a bit crowded and noisy, but that’s part of the appeal; this is, after all, Shanghai’s favorite wine bar. The ambience is cozy yet modern, thanks to industrial-chic interiors with lots of exposed brick, brushed steel and furniture crafted from dark wood and rich leather. The first floor has a traditional bar, but the real party is upstairs, where tables of well-dressed 20- and 30-somethings share bottles of vino and generous cheese plates.
Roosevelt Wine Cellar
The Roosevelt Wine Cellar boasts the largest wine reserve not only in Shanghai, but in the world. Some 4,000 bottles, to be exact, resting in state-of-the-art coolers that occupy an entire floor of the stately Bund 27 building. Roosevelt also operates as an upscale restaurant in addition to its glamorous wine bar. The handsome interior is reminiscent of an Old World wine vault, with large, stone windows framing views of the Lujiazui skyline across the river. Serious wine connoisseurs can apply to join the exclusive members’ club (along with Tony Blair and Jackie Chan), but anyone can enjoy the dinner or wine tastings at the cellar or fabulous rooftop bar.
Le Vin is a small and subdued alternative to Shanghai’s bigger, bustling wine bars. Nestled into a charming spot on Changle Road, Le Vin specializes in Old World and Italian wines and serves a full menu of gorgeously prepared Italian dishes like beef stew alongside smaller plates like oysters and charcuterie.
Echoing the young, fun vibe of Dr. Wine, UVA is the hip, date-worthy wine bar of the moment in Jing’An district. Managed by two Italian oenophiles, UVA naturally specializes in Italian wines—including ten labels that sell for just RMB35 per glass. The affordable prices and stylish decor ensure UVA is always busy, even on weekday nights.
With its huge private terrace and its out-of-the-way location (it’s set down a quiet driveway of low-rise creative office buildings), Must is a favorite French hangout in Jing’An district. Weekend days here become family affairs, where parents can let les enfants run loose on the terrace while they enjoy relaxed brunches of classic French dishes and chilled bottles of rosé. Wine Must also comes alive at night and is a favorite spot for after-work drinks for residents of Jing’An.