Talking about wine in Rio de Janeiro is almost like cursing in the church. It’s all about cold beer, draft – beer better known as chopp (say: shoppy). And in case you don’t want to drink beer, you’ll go for the famous caipirinha. A drink with the typical Brazilian rum called cachaça. But wine? Well, that’s something new.
So when in Rio, you’ll see that wine can be quite expensive. While Brazil has quite a few vineyards, the land, in general, is not very suitable for producing wines because of the climate. Therefore, most of the wines are imported. From historically big wine countries – as Chile and Argentina – but also from from Europe, the more expensive ones.
For a good taste of Brazilian wine, which built its foundation on sparkling wines, you should go to a tiny place called the WineHouse. It’s located in Botafogo, near the metro station map. The British owner, Dominic Parry, has a focus on Brazilian wines that are pretty different than the traditional ones. “The local wines are a bit more fresh, less heavy than the European wines. And therefore easier to drink”, says Parry.
Another great option is Canastra map. Opened in 2013, an undiscovered place that will make you enjoy to drink wine in Rio de Janeiro. With the wine culture expanding in the city, Canastra took its chance. Since a couple of years it positioned itself proudly as one of the to-go bars in Ipanema. On Tuesday evening there is a crowd of hundreds of people. On other days, and earlier on the day, the charming French restaurant is one of the better places to sit back and enjoy watching people. From a small obscure bar a couple of years ago, Canastra developed itself in a restaurant that now has doubled in size.
If you’re in for a more exquisite wine experience, you should check out the high-end Cavist, located in the heart of Ipanema at the Nossa Senhora da Paz square map. Many years Cavist had to deal with the construction of the new metro line in front of the restaurant. But since the Olympics, the restaurant recovered its identity as a local place with a great ambiance and nice view from its terrace over the square.
Cavist has an extended wine assortment, with wines from all over the world in every price category. Of course, there are a lot of options for the traditional sparkling wines. This place is definitely worth a visit for a relaxing late afternoon drink and lunch.
For the more straightforward experience of wine in Rio de Janeiro, a visit to Champanharia Ovelha Negra should be on the agenda. The bar in Rua Bambina map in the upcoming neighborhood Botafogo is everything but pretentious. It’s about the happy hour, a basic prosecco or one of the 80 other sparkling wines on the menu. Best to visit during the week.