Who still goes to clubs? Plenty of people do, but there’s also a whole new way to enjoy a night out on the town. And it involves wine. The wine bars of Rotterdam come in all shapes and sizes, so why not give them a try and see which wine list and ambiance suits the vino lover in you best.
Words: Gerdien Barnard
Janssen & Van Dijk
Being one of the more traditional and best-known wine bars in town, Janssen & Van Dijk also feels a bit like a cosy pub with a French touch. Seek its warmth in winter, or go there in summer and take a seat on the small terrace (or just stand on the street) and watch the world go by.
Westewagenstraat 58 (Centre), Open: daily from 11 AM – 11 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-4131144, wijnbarjanssenenvandijk.nl
Don’t get confused (verward). Though this bar also caters to beer lovers, we guarantee you’ll be served amazing wines, too. Owner Ward (still following?) is an experienced sommelier who fancies all-natural Old World wines. Don’t know exactly what to choose? Ward will figure it out and will happily surprise you. Their sidewalk terrace is the perfect place to sip.
Hoogstraat 69a (Centre), Open: Thurs-Mon 2 PM – 11 PM, verward.nl
Perhaps more a wine restaurant than a bar, but Vineum (‘vinum’ meaning wine) is just as passionate about food as it is about wine. Need proof? For years, the wine list has been among the best in the world, and in 2018 owner David received a Michelin Sommelier Award. For the ultimate autumn indulgence: go to the vine-covered courtyard and get a taste of wine heaven.
Eendrachtsweg 23 (Centre), Open: Mon-Sat 6 PM –10 PM, (Mon-Fri also lunch 12 PM – 2:30 PM), Tel. +31(0)10-7200966, vineum.nl
It’s a restaurant, it’s a café, it’s a wine bar. Furthermore, 1NUL8 is a city centre hotspot to savour a good glass, relax from a shopping spree or unwind after a busy workday. The music’s playing and (young) people are standing at the bar enjoying their night out. With 11 types of champagne to choose from, expect to hear some popping now and then.
Meent 108 (Centre), Open: daily from 10 AM – 1 AM, Tel. +31(0)10-4123561, 1nul8.nl
L’Ouest and Le Nord
With more than forty different wines by glass, wine bar l’Ouest gives everyone a chance to try something new. Or go for a ‘wine flight’: a small wine tasting served at your table, consisting of four glasses (one sparkling) with matching tapas. The owners also run Le Nord, a wine shop and bistronomy (bistro/gastronomy) with great food and, of course, an extensive wine list.
L’Ouest: Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 139 (Centre), Open: daily from 11:30 AM – 10 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-2807206, louest.nl
Le Nord bistro and shop: Molenwaterweg 5a and Provenierssingel 32a (North), Tel. +31(0)10-2654438, lenord.nl
As you would expect with a name like Mendoza, this wine bar takes you (back) to Argentina, one of the world’s biggest wine countries. And of course, an Argentinean wine comes with great South American snacks, often from the barbecue. The terrace on the lake is the perfect place for lovely autumn nights (blankets available) with a good glass of wine.
Weissenbruchlaan 149 (Hillegersberg), Open: daily from 12 PM – 11 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-4613855, winebarmendoza.nl
This cosy neighbourhood wine bar makes you feel at home immediately. De Avonden (evenings) is a great place to catch up with friends, ring in the weekend or celebrate an ordinary Wednesday. More than twenty different wines are all sustainably produced, and owners Petra and Seb can pair every glass with delicious bites.
Kleiweg 48b (Hillegersberg), Open: Wed-Sat 4 PM – 11 PM, Sun 2 PM – 10 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-2104495, wijnbardeavonden.nl
Besides great wine bars, the city has amazing wine shops with hundreds of bottles to take away or enjoy on the spot. These tasting rooms serve plenty by the glass, and the waiting staff has all the knowledge you’d expect from true vino fanatics. Ask them anything you would like to know, let them help you discover new favourites and enjoy unique flavours combined with tasty appetisers, surrounded by the best bottles.
According to Lenselinq, wines should be authentic and pure. They love wines from European family wineries that work with local grape varieties. Therefore, you’ll only taste wines made purely on the grape and based on natural fermentation and the winemaker’s knowledge and skills. Owners Martijn and Chris know every winemaker by name and can tell fascinating stories about every winery they work with. Take a seat inside or on the terrace and feel Europe’s uniqueness warm your heart.
Haagseveer 32 (Centre), Open: Thurs-Sat 12 PM – 10:30 PM, Sun 1 PM – 8 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-7370011, lenselinq.nl
Owner Harrie isn’t just another wine lover who opened a shop – he’s one of the few ‘wine gods’ of Rotterdam who worked at the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants. At Harries Wine & Deli, you walk into a culinary, hospitality and wine heaven. No less than 150 types of wines and 12 champagnes are waiting for you, so discovering special and less well-known grape varieties is guaranteed. Combined with excellent bites (from cheeses and charcuterie to caviar), you’ll probably be staying a few hours longer than planned…
Hoogstraat 63a (Centre), Open: Mon 12 PM – 10pm, Tues-Sat 11 AM – 10 PM, Sun 12 PM – 8 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-3417422, harries-wine-deli.nl
Wijn aan de Kade
Exclusive wines, everyday wines, champagnes and the very best from Burgundy, Bordeaux and even Azerbaijan. Owner Leon and his son Seb know what’s good, but are far from wine snobs. Honest advice in a language even novice drinkers can understand; that’s what Wijn aan de Kade (wine on the quay) offers you. The stylish, modern shop is a good address for an alcoholic present for yourself or others. On the first floor, you’ll find the tasting room, used for regularly scheduled wine tasting events.
Admiraliteitskade 80 (Kralingen), Open: Tues-Fri 11 AM – 7 PM, Sat 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM, last Sun of the month 12 PM – 5 PM, Tel. +31(0)10-3133430, wijnaandekade.nl
Featured picture by EG Photography