I think I have said this before – I am not a fan of rooftop terraces. 99 percent of the time I feel that these places have the misconception that a nice view justifies poor quality. Or if it’s not poor quality, then prices are from another world. Like wine tastes better if you drink it high up in the air. Not! There are a few exceptions though, and Roosevelt Wine Cellars is one of them. I was impressed already on my first visit in 2015 , and the feeling did not deteriorate this time, two years later. Roosevelt Wine Cellar is not the best wine bar in the world, but it is one of the best places to drink wine I know in Asia; as well as it has a magnificent view.
The house of Roosevelt is a neo-classical building from the 1920’s, located on the Bund, facing the round tip of Pudong island. The building was restored by the Roosevelt family, yes, that Roosevelt family. The chairman of the board is the great-grandson of the 26th president of the USA. The building houses one of the largest wine cellars in the world and the sky bar terrace has a breathtaking view over the Huangpu river. The restaurant has received the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence (the one with two wine glasses) five years in a row. This award is given to restaurants that are destinations for serious wine lovers, showing a deep commitment to wine and service.
Stepping out on the terrace is a fantastic experience. The view that opens up in front of you is magnificent: the Huangpu river and Pudong island from a corner that is a dream for a prhotographer. The high, futuristic buildings are so close, and you can just admire how the architects of the city have designed a skyline that is in such balance. The view from the terrace is like a work of art.
The wine list at the cellar is wide, France- and new world heavy, but still featuring some old world classics, like Friuliano from Italy and Riojas and Malbecs from Spain. The wine list by the glass is decent by European standards, but great of you compare with other wine bars in China; five to six whites and reds by the glass. They also have their own private label Champagne(s), a brut and a rose. However, the price was not in line with expected quality, so I let it be. Price for the wines were approximately what you would expect to pay in Sweden, so in other words, high. A glass of Friuliano was around 100 CNY (120kr or 13€).
If you don’t fancy wine, you can also have a nice cup of tea on the rooftop terrace, or even go for an afternoon tea set with small finger sandwiches and cakes. The view is breathtaking even without alcohol in your blood. It is a a must see if you are winecurious in Shanghai.