I had a quick look at my statistics last week, and one of the most popular posts of all time is my review of Helsinkis wine bars a few years back. All the places in that post are still relevant, I would go for a glass of wine at Latva, Vin Vin, Soil Wine Room and Sinne Helsinki any day. However, there are is a new genre of wine bar in town, that should really be mentioned – the natural wine bar. Nature wines are produced without any help from synthetic chemistry: pesticides or additives like clearing agents. They are usually unfiltered and can have some sediments that make the wine murky and thick in color. There is a skin contact-trend going on which means that you can also find orange, and amber-wines on the lists.
Basbas & Staff Wine Bar
Basbas I have written about before. The restaurant has been the most talked about addition to the Finnish culinary scene for the past two years, and it is almost impossible to book a table. At least for me that lives abroad. I should just book a table, and then book flights to match. The restaurant was actually so popular, that both the owners and the staff opened a wine bar together to relieve some of the pressure of the bookings. The wine bar is walk in only and there is plenty of space as long as you go early. There is a long list of wines by the glass. All are either ecological, biodynamic or nature wines. Here you can taste some funky stuff: like really deep oxidized whites from Jura, orange wines and sparkling wines made with methode ancestral. There are also bar snacks like charcuterie and cheeses to fend of the hunger.
Wino is the newest addition to the Helsinki wine-scene, established by the champagne master of the year (2015) Toni Aikasalo. Wino is a friendly neighborhood bistro and wine bar that is open seven days a week (me like), and has a constantly changing wine list. The list is heavy on old world wines from small producers from France, Germany, Italy and Austria. When listening to the sommelier, you get the feeling that he has visited them all. There are two to three sparklings, and four to five red and white wines by the glass. The list can change as often as every day and sometimes the sommelier has a few interesting bottles stashed under the counter for those who are more winecurious. Wino also serves small to medium-sized dishes like gazpacho, tartar, pork belly etc. Everything we tasted was delicious. I initially thought that this place would be walk in, but I was completely wrong. We got a reservation the same day only because we were going there with a friend who knew the owner. So book a table if you want to be sure to fit in. Its a fantastic experience any day of the week.
I feel a bit funny writing about El Fant, because I have actually not visited. But all those great reviews cannot be wrong. The reason I have not made it there is that El Fant have very short opening hours. It closes already at seven PM, so it is really a place for afterwork or early dinner. However, reading the website they have both a good selection of micro roaster coffee as well as nature wines. So I definitely think it is worth a mention, and hopefully next time I will have the chance to experience it myself.