Bar at Aux Quatre Coins du Vin, Bordeaux, France

Aux Quatre Coins du Vin

This contemporary wine bar close to Place St. Pierre is the brainchild of Benjamin Bouet. Guests can self-serve samples amongst 32 different vintages, many from the region, but also some of Bouet's discoveries beyond Bordeaux, and even France. Stainless steel Enomatic machines pour 3 centiliters, 6 centiliters (about a half-glass) or 12 centiliters (a glass), so you can sample a wide variety before settling on that grand cru Bordeaux or white Burgundy of your choice.

The lovely staff is on hand to guide you through the offerings, and if self-sampling wine is not your idea of a romantic night out, they are happy to serve you at the high bar tables as well. A short menu of charcuterie and cheeses makes this a brilliant way to start the evening. On Friday and Saturday nights, reservations past 7:30/8pm are a must.

Editors' Picks

Bô Bar

Tiny Place Saint-Pierre is one of Bordeaux’s most winning squares, a bit off the tourist tracks from larger Place du Parliament nearby. Here, the menu is focused on organic and biodynamic wines from all over France, and they are served with wonderful cheese and charcuterie platters. It’s down the street from such bistros as Chien Pavlov and Miles, so a great place to start an evening out.

Guinguette Alriq

Attending a dance night at this riverside, completely local spot, feels like being transported into the scene in Roman Holiday where Gregory Peck takes Audrey Hepburn dancing on a barge in the Tiber. The setting is authentic and wonderful: mismatched plastic chairs and tables, strung Christmas lights, little, colorful flags and a makeshift bar where you order inexpensive wine and beer (the most expensive thing on the menu is a "bottle of red" at €15). Once the live music starts, everyone is on their feet dancing the night away.

Guinguette Alriq is located on Rive Droite, across the river from all the hotels (take a taxi to get there), which means you have incredible nighttime views of the city, making an outing here even more romantic and special. Chances are, you will be the only non-local.

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Mama Shelter Bordeaux

This outpost of the hip, young hotel chain, whose original property is located in Paris’ 18th arrondissement, opened in 2013 and immediately became a veritable Bordeaux hot spot. The restaurant and lounge on the ground floor are dimly lit, play a cool soundtrack and boast such whimsical touches as a foosball table, chalk-painted ceiling and a glowing, long bar that’s presided over by colorful pool inflatables. Especially on the weekends, it fills with a fun mix of couples (in the romantic dining nooks), groups of friends and young families. The menu’s theme seems to be “something for everyone,” with an eclectic mix of Asian, French and international fare. Make a reservation for the rooftop bar where an abbreviated version of the menu is served. The service is moody and slow and the ambience trendy to a fault, but the views are great, and for a €6 glass of wine before dinner, it's a fun spot.

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