The Best Wine Bars in Munich, Germany

Munich’s many wine bars make it a great place to sample rare vintages and natural varieties
Munich’s many wine bars make it a great place to sample rare vintages and natural varieties | © Liliya Rodnikova / Stocksy

Munich may be known for beer gardens, but the city is no slouch when it comes to wine bars. Whether you’re looking for a wine list that’s more adventurous or a focused curation of classic wines, the capital of Bavaria has plenty of options.

Trends take a while to take hold in Munich, and it is no different with wine. Take natural wine, a category that is hard to define but generally means wine made with minimal intervention. Though a handful of passionate entrepreneurs have been selling natural wine in the city for years, only recently has the category started being featured at restaurants, shops and bars around the city. One of the newcomers is Zero Dosage, a wine bar and shop run by Max Hofinger.

“Natural wine is a small topic here compared to Berlin, Paris or Vienna,” Max explains. When he first opened Zero Dosage about a year and a half ago, Max says, “It was hard because people didn’t know what natural wine is and what I sell here.” But after some time, Munich’s residents as well as tourists began seeking Zero Dosage out.

Other wine bars in Munich offer more traditional wines, or focus on German and Austrian varieties, of which there are many. Whether you’re a novice wine buff or an aficionado, the city has options from a wine bar that has a 42-page menu to a pizza joint where the wine list is a surprising delight. Max highlights his favorites below.

Zero Dosage

Wine Bar, German
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Max stocks the shelves at Zero Dosage with wines from Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Italy and Slovenia. Because his interest in natural wine reflects an eco-friendly approach, he doesn’t see the point of importing wine from as far as South America, for example. His philosophy is to be approachable. When he makes recommendations to customers, Max says, “I try to find wines that are drinkable and fun. It should not be for craziness sake that I have a certain wine in the shop.” Every Friday, Max organizes a tasting of four wines for €15 to €16 (£13-£14) at Zero Dosage, and for those interested in expanding their knowledge, he offers small, intimate workshops on natural wine that run for about two and a half hours.

Manu

Wine Bar, Restaurant, German
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As far back as 23 years, Walter and Benjamin blazed a path for natural wine in Munich. Last year, the restaurant switched hands and was renamed Manu. The transition was a gentle one: the new owner, Tamás Farkas, maintained a connection with the former owners (who own a wine shop across the street) and kept the 27-year-old head chef, Max Waldhauser, in charge of the kitchen. There, Waldhauser whips up dishes like beef tartare with truffle and quail egg, and eel with beetroot, horseradish and blackberry to go with a selection of natural and non-natural wines. “Here you have high-class wines and a star-like kitchen at normal prices,” Max says. “The interior is simple, warm, straightforward, with clean lines.”

Bar Mural

Wine Bar, German, $$$
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Merian Ausgabe Frankfurt
© Mural Munich

Bar Mural’s hip decor, featuring a copper bar and graffiti on the walls, is also reflected in the wine list. It features many natural, organic (wine made without pesticides or chemicals) and biodynamic wines (a way of winemaking that incorporates organic practices), and young and old producers from not only Germany, Austria, France, Spain and Italy, but also Croatia, Romania and Chile. “You have a large variety of open natural wines that are interesting, and they have a broad and deep range of wines by the bottle,” Max says. Open wines are ones you can try by the glass, and the prices here are fair, starting at 4 euros (£3.50) for a glass. Word of advice: “It’s often crowded, so you should make a reservation,” Max suggests.

Grapes

Wine Bar, German, $$$
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Grapes positions itself as a wine bar for a range of enthusiasts, from the vinophiles to the new-to-the-game drinkers. The wine list has several hundred options and spans the globe, with wines from as far as South Africa and Australia. “They have a lot of nice, conventional, more normal wines,” Hofinger says. “But they also offer more natural and crazier wines.” Hofinger also pointed out that Grapes takes an active role in exposing people to different aspects of the wine world, with events like Winemakers’ Night, where you can meet producers and taste their wines, and Grapes and Grooves, a two-day wine festival with tastings, music and parties on the roof of the Hoch5 building in Munich.

Weinbar Griabig

Wine Bar, German
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Comfort is the theme at Griabig. The owners strive to offer an easy space for drinking wine and beer and eating food, with no pretensions. “It’s not a huge and deep menu of wine, but it’s decent,” Max explains. “It’s not so much of a sophisticated, posh crowd. It’s more easygoing.” Max describes the decor as heavy on dark wood panelling, which gives it the feeling of a classy wirtshaus (tavern). The walls are painted different colours, and a large cross hangs in one corner, a hand-me-down from the previous tenant. As for the food? It’s primarily Bavarian, with options like baked pork salad and parsnip soup with blood sausage and apple.

Nine0five

Wine Bar, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Nine0five is not quite a wine bar: here, you’ll find Neapolitan-style pizza, made with a sourdough that’s baked at 905 degrees Fahrenheit (485°C) for just one minute. But open the wine list, which has 500-some options, and you’ll see that the owners take wine very seriously. Aside from the usual suspects, there are natural wines, magnums and lots of Champagne. “They’re really fair about wine prices,” Hofinger says. “Their goal is for people to drink bottles.” With bottle prices that start at €30 (£26.50), and pizzas with unusual toppings like apple-cabbage salad and oranges or pumpkin, Nine0five attracts big groups and many people, so, as Max describes, the vibe is “loud, crowded, young, dynamic and very vivid.”

Weinheim

Wine Bar, German, $$$
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Spacious but cosy, with an interior marked by clean lines and golden brown accent tones, Weinheim lives up to its name, which means ‘wine home’. “They’re focused on German wines,” Max explains, and wines include regionally popular options like Spätburgunder, Blaufränkisch, St Laurent, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. To accompany this type of selection, there is a menu full of comfort food, such as cheese fondue, quiche and fried chicken fillets with parsnip and pumpkin.

Origine Kiosque

Wine Bar, German
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Not quite a bar, nor a café or restaurant, and more than a wine store, Origine Kiosque is whatever the visitor wants it to be. Stop by the Kiosque to have an evening glass of orange wine (made with white grapes with their skins kept on) with a small fresh snack made by one of the owners; if you enjoy it, grab a bottle to go if you want. “It’s a charming place,” Max says. All the wines sold at Origine are spontaneously fermented with their natural yeast and have very small amounts of added sulphur. “They’re one of the pioneers of natural wine in Munich,” Max says.

Künstler's Weinbar and Handel

Wine Bar, German
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Run by a wife and husband team, Künstler’s is a wine bar and shop focused on German wines, with some Austrian varieties available as well. It has a grown-up, slightly more serious vibe. “The atmosphere is more reserved; people talk more quietly, you don’t have to scream,” Max explains. Here you’ll find grapes that are both familiar and less so: Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gutedel, Silvaner, Grauburgunder and Weissburgunder (the latter two known as Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc in France, respectively) and more. A visit to Künstler’s is an opportunity to explore some of the German wines that are rarely seen in other countries – for example, ever heard of a Riesling Monster?

Vinothek by Geisel

Bar, Wine Bar, Mediterranean, Italian, $$$
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© Hotel Excelsior
With a 42-page wine list that includes a table of contents, breaking the bottles down by region and type (think: Hungarian white, Swedish sweet, Lebanese red), Vinothek by Geisel aims to please a wide range of clients. “It’s pricey, but if you want to have a nice dinner or a date, it’s a good place to go,” Max tells Culture Trip. The Bavarian influence here is obvious from the decor, which features rustic wooden stools and tables, concave ceilings and cabinets full of glasses along the walls. If you’re looking for food to go with the wine, the menu here is Bavarian meets Mediterranean. That means homemade pastas, prosciutto and cheese, meat dishes like beef cheeks, and fish.
These recommendations were updated on May 27, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.