A good drop
The Kalamaja suburb of Tallinn is slowly filling up with some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and bars. The latest addition is Pokaal, a wine bar serving snacks and appetisers, and wine, of course! DJs can be heard spinning on the weekends. A great place to spend an evening!
Telliskivi 60a, Tallinn www.facebook.com/ PokaalVeinibaar
Laid-back and cool, Paar Veini offers a pleasant change to the typical wine bar. Here you find the youth of Tallinn, who create a cool and relaxed atmosphere: the antithesis to your typical yuppie wine bar. With affordable wines, it's no surprise that Paar Veini has become a hang out for locals and foreigners alike. Indeed, not only is it known for its wine, but also for the excellent yet inexpensive tapas dishes on the menu. As a result, the bar fills up quite quickly on a Friday or Saturday night so arrive early. However, with good wine, good food and some excellent company, there's no reason for not getting a table and settling down for a night in this highly pleasing bar.
Sauna 1, Tallinn Old Town
Luscher & Matiesen
The Luscher & Matiesen terrace on Toompea is a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon or warm evening.
Believe it or not, Estonia had a wine culture during the first period of independence. The story starts in 1910 when Swiss-born Arnold Lüscher and Estonian Paul Matiesen decided to open a vodka factory in Moscow. Due to the October Revolution, the pair was forced to leave. In 1921, they decided to open a cellar in Matiesen’s hometown of Tallinn and began importing spirits into Estonia. They imported such products as Barton & Guestier wines, Gordon’s Gin, Johnnie Walker whisky, and Edmond Dupuy cognac. Their business flourished and by 1929 their Toompea cellars held over 200,000 litres of wine.
In summer they open a terrace almost overlooking Tallinn in the upper part of the Old Town on Toompea. They serve both a French white and a Spanish Red under their label, as well as a small snack menu. Follow their updates on Facebook to find out about upcoming live music events. Cash only.
Kohtu 12, Tallinn
You don’t get more central that this, the Wine Library is located right on the Town Hall Square. The wine list is of moderate length, covering both Old and New World wines. Hungry? They offer light meals and snacks. In the summer, the Wine Library opens a patio on the Town Hall Square. Enjoy an lazy afternoon in one of the most beautiful locations in Tallinn, while sipping a glass of wine.
Raekoja plats 8, Tallinn Old Town
With the upcoming summer season, a dark basement may be the last place you want to spend your evening, but on the occasional chilly night, get a bottle of wine and cosy up by the fire. Gloria Veinikelder has hundreds of wines to choose from. Thank goodness the knowledgeable staff are there to help you choose the appropriate bottle for your meal or snack.
The Wine Cellar is a wonderful addition to the legendary Gloria restaurant above. The wine bar’s menu is short but striking. Meat, fish, chicken, salads, soups, and starters have only a few options each, but what’s available is excellent.
Müürivahe 2, Tallinn Old Town
Owned and operated by the oldest wine-importer in Estonia, Rein Kasela, Kork Wine Bar and Store is the perfect addition to the Rotermanni Centre. It is located just across from Juustukuningad. The shop has a great selection of wines, ciders, and spirits. In the back of the store, facing the street is the wine bar. Here you can sit either inside or outside and sip on a glass of wine while enjoying a light snack. Their menu consists of bruschettas, salads, cheese, and meat platters ideal for sharing. Live jazz bands play frequently. The music events are promoted on their Facebook page.
Rotermanni 5, Tallinn
Blink and you’ll miss it; in fact most people don’t even know it’s here. Located above a burlesque club on the main street of Tallinn’s Old Town is Veinipööning. Open since 1998, Veinipööning has an extensive wine list, with helpful sommeliers to guide you. They also offer wine courses and degustations put on by visiting wine makers. Enjoy this quiet and cosy wine bar and escape the hustle and bustle from below.
Viru 18, Tallinn Old Town
This tiny wine shop and bar is located on a quiet street of Tallinn’s Old Town. The wine bar offers a great selection of Italian wines at reasonable prices. The menu has both hot and cold appetisers, showcasing northern Italian culinary traditions. The owner, who is almost always in the shop, wants to chat and tell you about the wines. Stop in for a pre-dinner aperitivo or settle in for the night and enjoy a larger platter of Italian charcuterie and cheese.
Lai 26, Tallinn Old Town
Text kristina lupp Photos Andrei Chertkov