Polish Wine: Is It a Yeti, Is It a Nessie or Does It Actually Exist? [Warsaw Guide]
Few people see Poland as the land of viniculture. Average temperatures around 7 degrees Celsius, not much sun during winter and THE SNOW. How can you possibly make good wine in such conditions? Well, it turns out that some smart people found just the right way to make it happen. And they are on the road to success. We dare you to try some of the finest Polish wines and tell your folks back home that they actually exist. You can do so at some of the spots that we have carefully selected for you.
This place should be on your agenda not only if you are searching for some Polish wine, but if you simply want to find some outstanding wine. The restaurant and wine shop have approximately 250 wine bottles on offer, but no wine list. Restaurant guests can either take a look at a lovely wine display or ask the staff for help. The Head Sommelier, Jakub Pasternak, prefers less popular wine regions and promotes young wine makers who are only trying to make it big in this wayward business. This season he is deeply fascinated by Slovenian orange wines (long maceration with grape skins). This tricky technique was also used by a Polish Dom Bliskowice Vineyard (Johanniter Ultra, 2015). Their brave wines have already graced Ale Wino with their presence. This year the restaurant has been also providing its clients with a very interesting and surprisingly light Regent Reserva by Pałac Mierzęcin. Jakub Pasternak suggested to pair it with Polish old time classic, i.e. steak tartare served with lots of horseradish and spring onion. A match to die for.
The restaurant menu mirrors current culinary trends in the city – mixing typically Polish ingredients, such as e.g. homemade bread, steak tartare, turnip, smoked lard or Baltic Sea herring with some foreign produce and dishes, such as e.g. ravioli, terrine, risotto, gravy or foie gras. Which is, among plenty other things, what made us put Ale Wino on our seasonal list of 5 must-visit places in Warsaw.
Ale Wino, Mokotowska 48 (map below)
The place combines two ideas: a good Italian restaurant and a shop offering a wide range of exquisite, yet affordable wines. Located in New Town remains easily accessible but still a bit off the beaten “old town” track. The restaurant menu evolves around what we believe most people enjoy, i.e. hearty Italian cuisine. Truth be told, even we have to admit that there are few things that pair better with a bottle of rich and dry red wine than a simple bruschetta or penne con verdure. The wine list offers you four different Polish red wines to choose from, including the acclaimed Płochoccy Vineyard and their zesty and tart white wines. Overall, there are sixteen Polish wines to taste at Enoteka. Even amateurs of sweet wines will be pleased to find a few of these on offer. All wines are 30% off price when bought in a shop, instead of the restaurant.
Enoteka, Rynek Nowego Miasta 13/15 (map below)
Being part of our Food Tour this restaurant is obviously and shamelessly one of our favourite ones in the city. Not only does it offer surprisingly innovative Polish ingredients-based menu which changes on a monthly basis, but it also strives to promote Polish wine among Polish people. Katarzyna Federowicz responsible for their wine list has made a rather bold move in autumn 2016. She decided to compose a wine list consisting almost uniquely of Polish wines. In order to fully understand how courageous it actually was, you need to realise that Poland is the land of vodka. We are the fourth biggest vodka producer in the world. The wine consumption is gradually becoming bigger, but Poles prefer to gamble on the most renown French or Italian vineyards. Solec 44 made Polish wine more available to wider audience, selling it by the glass as well, which by consequence made it much more affordable.
Solec 44, Solec 44 (map below)
!! As of December 2017, Solec 44 closed permanently.
Ed Red has always been one of the reasons to visit Kraków. Well, at least for the real foodies. In 2016 Adam Chrząstowski, the mastermind behind this steak restaurant concept, finally listened to his fans from Warsaw and opened his restaurant in the capital city, in Hala Mirowska, the biggest food halls in Warsaw. It didn’t take us long to start raving about the Warsaw branch. The restaurant menu is a pure celebration of exceptional quality meat. It was only natural that their wine list needed to be created by a real professional: Adam Pawłowski, one of two Master Sommeliers from Poland. The 16-page long wine list itself is built not only around wine types, but also helps its readers choose wines according to their bodies (light, medium or full-bodied). We got lucky enough to peek at the restaurant’s wine cellar which is, to say the least, impressive. One of Polish wines available at Ed Red is Hibernal by Turnau Vineyard. Dry white wine which smells like citrus fruit, herbs and flowers. Very appealing to a wider audience.
Ed Red, Plac Mirowski 1 (map below)
Where to buy Polish wine in Warsaw
Polish Vineyards (some out of 350 registered ones)
Map of locations: