45 Bar and Cafe
45 Bar and Cafe is tucked away inside a courtyard off Gogolevsky Bulvar. It's the kind of place that takes wine seriously without being overly pretentious about it — pontificating over the berry notes in your red is entirely optional. There is no wine list. Instead, talk to the knowledgeable sommelier who will suggest bottles depending on your grape or regional preferences. You can buy by the glass, but when the wine and ambience are this good most settle down for the evening over a bottle. Simple but tasty bar snacks accompany your tipple of choice.
+7 (495) 953 1564
17 Gogolevsky Bulvar. Metro Kropotkinskaya, Arbatskaya
I Like Wine
Youthful, upbeat wine bar
I Like Wine buzzes even on weeknights with a trendy crowd of young professionals. Wines on the menu are categorized according to their characteristics, for instance "fresh and light" or "rich and full-bodied." This clever concept encourages you to try new varieties but saves embarrassment if all you know about wine is that you like to drink it. The menu features light bites from around the world including charcuterie, seafood and mini-burgers. The brainchild of Vladimir Perelman, formerly of I Like Bar, this bistro has achieved its goal of being lively and not at all fussy.
+ 7 (495) 928 8859
16 Ulitsa Pokrovka. Metro Chistiye Prudy
Upmarket wine merchant and gastropub
Boasting a staggering 400 labels, this delightful gastropub certainly takes a reverential approach to its wine. In fact, watching sommelier Ksenia Karpenko pour and handle your bottle is almost like being privy to a devout religious ceremony. As you enter Wine Religion you're greeted by floor-to-ceiling shelves of wine. Pick your favorite bottle to enjoy at home or pay the corkage fee to drink in. A well-considered European-inspired menu of salads, seafood and steaks compliments the drinks list. Prices are towards the upper end of the scale but considering the quality of the wines and the ambience of the place, you won't be disappointed.
+7 (499) 753 2340
16 Michurinsky Prospekt. Metro Universitet
A taste of Italy
As its name would suggest, La Bottega specializes in Italian wines. There are over 170 labels available — enough to satisfy even Mediterranean grape connoisseurs among you. If choosing a bottle is too much of an undertaking, the good news is that La Bottega is one of the few places in Moscow with a Eurocave wine storage room that keeps 24 wines ready to pour by the glass at any time. Perfect if you'd like to try something special but don't want to splash out on the bottle. A simple but elegant interior with tiled floors and deep red walls leaves you to appreciate the great wine and crunchy bruschetta while you dream of Italy.
+7 (495) 213 3088
5 Lesnaya Ulitsa. Metro Belorusskaya
Wine and dine in style
So extensive are the shelves of wine at GRAPE you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd entered a monumental wine library rather than a restaurant. Most of the seating is in the cellar, where tables nestle between mammoth wine cabinets. With more than 1,400 bottles on offer — many of which are extremely rare speciality wines — you could easily spend most of the evening perusing the shelves. Drink in or take a bottle home at a 10-percent discount. If you're tired of the current trend of exposed brick and industrial-chic interiors, this should be up right your street. The venue seats just 25 and takes an old-fashioned, high-end approach to wining and dining.
+ 7 (495) 691 4080
16 Malaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa. Metro Tverskaya