It’s nearly Christmas and Bucharest is already panic shopping. But don’t worry, BR is on hand to help you navigate the festive retail maze. Over the following pages, you will find our selection of the best places to do your Christmas shopping, from local designer fashion boutiques, through to traditional Christmas fairs, upmarket delicatessens and multi-language bookshops.
Arte & Vino
While its Romanian language-only website makes Art & Vino a little less foreigner friendly, this is another business run by proper wine people. The bottles stocked come from Romania, Eastern Europe, the traditional wine-making nations of Western Europe and the New World.
2 Marasesti Blvd. (Carol Parc Residence). www.artevino.ro
Corks Cozy Bar
Bucharest’s Old Center has a new spot for wine lovers who can select their tipple from a few hundred labels. The bar offers a menu of over 300 bottles, all of which can also be served by the glass. The selection includes both new and vintage wines. For wine collectors, the bar sells anniversary and medal-winning wines, star buys, and wines from both the New and the Old World.
1 Bacani Street, Old City Center, entrance from Lipscani Street. www.corks.ro
Crama Murfatlar (Murfatlar Winery) stores can be found in almost all neighborhoods in Bucharest, as well as in a large number of shopping centers. If choosing from the full range of producer’s varieties leaves you stumped, tasting is free and the vendors are there to offer advice.
35 stores in Bucharest
Dionysus Wine Bar
This little place near Unirii Square offers you a fine selection of self-imported wines, which can be tasted inside, at the large wooden table that seems to occupy the entire space.
19 Sepcari Street
With an ethos of bringing quality wines to local consumers at sensible prices, Ethic has some bargain bottles (it also sells spirits and olive oil.) The owners boast of having “the largest selection of Romanian wines in Bucharest”, but the rest of Europe and the New World are also covered.
55 Banu Antonache, Piata Floreasca. www.ethicwine.ro
Van Gogh wine shop
TheNetherlandsmight not be the main country you’d associate with fine wines, but the people behind Van Gogh caféknow their onions when it comes to quality food and drink. The expat hangout du jour sells a selection of bottles, which can be tasted on site along with some cheese, or delivered to your home.
9 Smardan Street. www.vangogh.ro
Started by a group of oenophiles, the Vinexpert network stocks a range of top European wines and spirits, along with other high-end goods such as teas, coffees, chocolates and Cuban cigars. If you’re stuck for inspiration, the website has a list of Christmas gift ideas. The chain also has mall outlets.
24 Octavian Goga Street. www.vinexpert.ro
The Winery Outlet
The Winery, part of the British company Halewood, has special deals on bubbly –ideal with the party season coming up –and other products. The store stocks the entire range of wines produced by Romanian Halewood and another 179 imported wines –from Uruguayan Pisano and South African Simonsig to famous French producers like Hugel & Fils, LupéCholet and Gerard Bertrand. In addition to wines, the store also sells beer and liquors –for some Christmas flavor, you can choose ginger beer or cider.
Online orders at www.winery-outlet.com