In a city driven by the cyclical whims of fashion, one constant remains: the Milanese enjoy their wine! With some of Italy’s best wine regions within an hour’s drive, there’s never a shortage of options.
One clear trend in Milan is the natural wine movement, which continues at a breathtaking pace. Use the guide below to seek out everything the city has to offer, from the latest natural wine bars to the Milan’s only rooftop ‘ethical hour’ restaurant, plus Michelin-star dining.
Best bars and restaurants in Milan for wine lovers
Launched in September 2022 on the rooftop of The Medelan complex, Horto explores gastronomy through the concept of the ‘ethical hour’. Executive chef, Alberto Toè – under the direction of Norbert Niederkofler – sources ingredients from small farmers and dairies outside Milan, including Varzese beef for carpaccio, and a nearly forgotten raw-milk blue cheese called Strachítunt used as filling for plin dumplings.
While the wine list stretches beyond the one-hour limit imposed on food, every bottle reflects the restaurant’s ethos, with selections from small producers in the natural, organic and biodynamic realms.
With multiple accolades, including two Michelin stars, Andrea Aprea lures wine-loving gastronomes to the top floor of the new art museum of the Luigi Rovati Foundation. The large, modern dining room anchored by a Murano chandelier seats only a handful of tables each night, creating the illusion of both space and intimacy.
Chef Aprea, easily spotted in the kitchen doorway, delivers a multi-course masterclass in texture, colour and flavour. The wine list reflects the artistic and intellectual ambition of the menu, boasting over 650 labels spanning blue-chips to rare or undiscovered treasures. The best option is to let the sommelier choose the pairings.
Cru wine bar
Jacopo Ercolani, his brother and friends founded Cru in 2018. Ercolani developed an appreciation for minimal intervention wines after leaving the communications industry to work as a sommelier. Today, Cru boasts two locations, both casual, with a focus on wines by the glass and locally sourced cheese and charcuterie boards, including products from Le Marche, where Ercolani is from.
Cru Arc (near Arco della Pace) is a diminutive spot with only 10 interior seats but an outdoor dehors with 30-35 spots. Cru Island (Isola area) offers double the interior space plus terrace seating. Cru’s roster of producers spans 300 winemakers from Europe, with the glass pour changing daily. Don’t be shy about asking staff for help; they deftly match a guest’s taste preferences to the right bottle.
Enoteca/Naturale operates as both a wine bar and restaurant, nestled within the pretty setting of Milan’s Parco delle Basiliche in the Ticinese area. While the rotation of 4,000 wine labels provides a point of distinction from its peers, the venue’s unique business model sets it apart: sharing space with Emergency, a humanitarian foundation providing care to people affected by conflict and poverty, Enoteca/Naturale opened in 2018 as an ‘SRL Benefit’ company.
Though for-profit, it promotes social integration and workforce diversity, notably by hiring immigrants. With an extensive selection of wines by the glass poured by an educated yet unpretentious staff, patronising Enoteca/Naturale provides a win-win model for guests and the community.
Vineria Eretica has attracted natural wine drinkers to its intimate space close to Milano Centrale since 2019. Owner Giuseppe Bertini has curated an outstanding list of natural wines encompassing hard-to-find French labels and Italian and other European counterparts.
If Bertini is around, tap his deep knowledge of producers and styles while sampling small plates…
Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-travel/best-milan-restaurants-wine-lovers-395103/