We love a good wine bar, almost as much as we love wine. Bristol’s wine bars bring a certain sophistication to the scene that sheds all the snobbery often associated with wine too. No one is about to laugh you out of the building because you don’t know what tannins are. So it is unsurprising to hear that these two Bristol hotspots have featured among The Times’ 45 best wine bars in Britain list.
The first of these was Cave on Gloucester Road – the wine shop-cum-bar and deli. Not only can you stop by and browse walls of Old World wines, with organic and biodynamic options too. But enjoy a glass or two as well. Cave was founded with a focus on smaller producers with sustainability at the forefront. So you’ll find plenty of tasty surprises from lesser-known regions.
You can also grab a bite to eat at the multipurpose space, with French-influenced small plates designed to accompany the wines (not the other way around!). Cave also tries to keep its wines accessible to everyone – so you’ll avoid the higher traditional restaurant markup. You’ll also find plenty of wine tastings and other events happening at Cave on a regular basis.
The second spot to feature among the best wine bars in Britain was Cotto Wine Bar and Kitchen on St Stephen’s Street, which was described as ‘an excellent casual Italian wine bar’. With a strong emphasis on uncomplicated classic Italian cooking, the food definitely takes centre stage here. But the wine is far from an afterthought.
Cotto Wine Bar and Kitchen is just as brilliant for a nice sit-down meal with a loved one as it is for sharing a bottle of Primitivo with a mate at the bar. Of course, these are not the only brilliant wine bars in Bristol. All across the city there are plenty of places, all light and breezy, to whittle away an entire evening with friends drinking. But next time you’re in the mood for some good food and wine, think of these two first.