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Guanxi is a Chinese term that describes the cultivation of relationships, primarily those that are business-based. Guanxi plays a major role in China’s drinking culture as, more often than not, networking occurs outside of the office with a drink in hand. With Beijing being the political and business mecca that it is, the prominence of guanxi is no surprise. So, whether you’re looking to impress some colleagues or a special someone, one of Beijing’s many bars is the perfect place. But with so many to choose from, which are the city’s best?
With walls constructed to double as glass wine racks showing off the bar’s impressive array of worldly vino, Vinotheque is an intimate, beautifully designed wine bar located within the Kerry Hotel. Their selection is extensive, with an almost overwhelming amount of wine to choose from. Fortunately, help is always on hand, with Vinotheque’s staff primed to impart their vast knowledge and help you make the right choice. Although this wine bar is a bit pricier than others, as it is situated near Beijing’s business district, Vinotheque makes for a perfect after-work drink.
Vinotheque, No. 1 Guanghua Road, Beijing, China, +86 10 6561-8833
Located among the quaint Beixinqiao Hutongs, Nuoyan Rice Wine is the real deal. Unlike other wine bars in the city, this bar is a rice wine bar, and has managed to establish itself pretty quickly among Beijingers. The success of Nuoyan Rice Wine is no surprise – its rice wine list is sprawling with beautifully packaged bottles full of taste. For a truly exquisite Nuoyan Rice Wine experience, schedule a rice wine tasting with the bar’s staff and enjoy a walk through the process of producing the wines while nibbling on Chinese snacks and sipping drinks.
Dimly lit and dreamy, this wine bar is set in a three-story hutong with floor to ceiling windows. On the inside, Fú Tapas and Wine has a high-end feel; modernistic furniture made of dark wood and black accents fill the space, while the surrounding people talk over decadent-looking cheese platters and delicate cups of wine. Fú Tapas and Wine’s atmosphere cannot compare. If you’re a lover of organic dishes and high-quality vino, Fú Tapas and Wines is the wine bar for you.
Fú Tapas and Wine, 25 Ju’Er Hutong, Beijing, China, +86 188 0113 6781
Insanely large windows fill the restaurant with natural light. From the inside, green and yellow hues brighten up every corner. Its furniture has a modern vibe to it, and unlike many of the other wine bars in Beijing, this one is quite casual. This is Buona Bocca, an Italian-influenced wine bar and restaurant offering Beijingers an authentic taste of Italy. The food here is fabulous and, more importantly, so is the wine. With less variety than other places, the wine that is offered is high-quality Italian vino. Buona Bocca is a fabulous choice for a wine lunch.
One of Beijing‘s most beloved wine bars, Enoterra has a charm about it unlike any other. The bar is warmly lit and cozy, and when the weather is temperate, the bar’s terrace makes for a lovely place to relax. Their wine selection is reasonably large, and the bar’s staff are very attentive. On their menu, Enoterra offers a selection of tapas perfect for pairing with their wines; a cold cut platter and a glass of red wine being a classic duo. For a less expensive but still business appropriate night out, Enoterra is a solid choice.
Enoterra, Nali Patio D405, North Road, Sanlitun Bar Street, Beijing, China, +86 010-5208-6076
With portraits of naked women hanging on the walls and vibrant plush furniture neatly scattered throughout the room, Red Dog is a predominantly expat wine bar decorated with 1900s Paris in mind. Transporting patrons to a decadent past, Red Dog intrigues both the mind and taste buds with their décor and extensive wine list. With an atmosphere that is considered casual in comparison to the aforementioned wine bars, Red Dog is a great place to meet interesting people who share a common connection: wine.
VinVino, located in Chaoyang district, is a tiny wine bar offering up a large selection of wine. Its simply chic decór is inviting, making it easy to cozy up with friends over a bottle (or four) of delicious wine. The wine bar’s reasonable prices and friendly staff make the experience one to remember, as long as you haven’t consumed too many fermented grapes. Additionally, VinVino offers a tasty tapas menu fit to satiate any wine-induced munchies you may have. Between its adorable atmosphere and impressive wine selection, VinVino is surely one of Beijing’s best wine bars!
This sleek wine bar is located within one of Beijing’s favorite establishments, The Opposite House. Awarded time and time again for its wide variety of vino, Sureño is known for serving up killer Spanish fare alongside a superb wine list – Beijingers flock here for its exquisite menu and atmosphere. While drinking at Sureño, patrons can expect to drink top-notch pours while melodious music carries through the tapas-scented air. For wine lovers and foodies alike, Sureño is always an excellent choice!
Surenño, Building 1, No.11 Sanlitun Road, Beijing, China, +86 (10) 6410-5240