France and Italy may be the most famous wine regions in Europe, but smaller wine producers like the Czech Republic shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of their more dominant neighbours. The art of Czech wine making may be little known, but that doesn’t make the industry any less fruitful. Often referred to as Moravian wine after the area it’s produced in, the best Czech wine can be sampled at any one of these wine bars in Prague. From the giant cellar at Vinograf to the intimate surroundings of Prosekárna, oenophiles looking for a place to set up camp will find plenty of choices in the Czech capital.
One of the largest selections of Czech wine in Prague can be found at Vinograf. The award-winning wine bar has two locations in the city – the smaller outlets (Vinograf Míšeňská Street, a romantic venue near The Charles Bridge) offers a menu of over 300 different wines, while the largest, Vinograf Senovážné Square, stocks nearly 700 bottles. Enthusiasts can order by the glass or by the bottle, or take part in tailored tasting sessions. While sommeliers advise on the vintages, chefs put together cheese and meat platters and light bites to perfectly complement the wines on offer.
Veltin, located in the up-and-coming Karlin district to the east of the Old Town, is one of the most stylish wine bars in Prague. Dark wood aesthetics create a classic ambience, brightened up by playful illustrations, while the well-stocked bar offers a vast selection of authentic Czech, Moravian and Central European wines. Sommeliers share their knowledge openly and are happy to talk visitors through the latest bottles from across the country and vineyards as far as Hungary, northern Italy, Croatia and Austria. The bar also hosts regular events and tasting sessions.
Literally translated to ‘On the Banks of the Rhône’, Na Břehu Rhony is a wine bar specialising in French wines from the Rhône region. With a healthy clutch of branches across the city, the distinctive bar and bottle shop serves the best French vintages in the city – many of which are exclusive – with daily specials served by the glass. An ideal spot for the eco-conscious traveller, many wines at Na Břehu Rhony are certified organic and produced using traditional methods at family farms. Visitors can also enjoy light bites and tasting menus.
Oenophiles who prefer their wine with bubbles should visit Prosekárna, an intimate bar that, as the name suggests, focuses on Prosecco. Sommeliers serve an irresistible selection of Proseccos, including biodynamic, boutique varieties. While the wine certainly sparkles, the bar itself is small, friendly and unpretentious. Pull up a stool at the hardwood bar and share a bottle selected from the wall display, dine on tapas, or enjoy a guided tasting. There’s also a basement space with comfy chairs and a fireplace – perfect for when the temperature drops.
Taking a more sophisticated approach to fizz, Champagneria’s cellars are stocked with a pleasing selection of Champagnes, Méthodes Champenoises, Cavas and Crémants. The sparkling wines in this cosy little wine bar are refreshingly reasonable and, happily, served in traditional saucers. Order some tapas alongside your order and enjoy Champagneria’s convivial atmosphere with live music on occasional evenings.
For those with a predilection for wine and oysters, Brut is a very serendipitous find. This sophisticated little corner of Letná takes a fiercely ethical approach to its menus: the oysters are sustainable and the wine is organic. Turn to the menu board and take your pick of the catch of the day – from plump David Hervés to juicy Irish fines. The wine menu is as delectable and, being completely organic, guarantees a clear head the morning after.
Accommodating a mere 20 guests at any one time, The Glass is an intimate, glass-fronted enclave offering a fantastic range of Old and New World wines, as well as a satisfying hand of Moravia offerings. The menu board of wines can be overwhelming to the uninitiated, but just ask for help: the owner is on hand to offer sage advice on which palate to pick. Choose a sharing charcuterie plate and you have the makings of a very enjoyable quaff.