When traveling, we’re always on the lookout for beautiful things: beautiful buildings, beautiful bridges, beautiful parks, and beautiful views—any way you can get them. With this concept of beauty and pleasure, several wine shops around the world have taken aesthetics to a new level, and no longer are wine shops just stores where you can buy a bottle or two. Today, some of the world’s best wine shops are immersive cultural experiences filled with history and architecture. Now that’s a beautiful thing.
5. Albert Reichmuth Wine Store
Talk about an efficient use of space and product: this Zurich-based wine shop, designed by Swiss architects OOS, is built from wine crates used to transport the bottles. More than 1,500 of these unbranded cases—primarily from Bordeaux—line the shop, and are used for displays, storage, and shelving. In total, they serve as a platform for approximately 570 wines, books, seating areas and illuminated table display cabinets. Looking to visit? Take note and remember that these (primarily French) wines are displayed by region.
4. BvS Wine Traders
Located in central Bucharest, BvS tries to liken its store to a library; presenting the wines as books. In addition to being a shop, this concrete and exposed-wood institution was designed by Beros & Abdul Architects to serve as a space for wine tasting and events. With its simple aesthetic and high ceilings with exposed beams, here, the wine is the protagonist. There’s a long, wooden table, and—much like a library—a “reference desk” where visitors can ask for suggestions and help.
This dramatic modern setting designed by noted Spanish architect Antonio de la Peña is just one of Lavinia’s stores—but may be its finest. Here, the bottles are presented artistically, and bottles are primarily held horizontally in specifically-designed display units so that their corks remain wet. At 16,000 square-feet, the space has more than 2,000 different wines from around the world, and a wine bar and restaurant. Despite what price connotations the space’s sleek, modernist presentation might conjure up, there are affordable bottles to be found here for less than €10. Then again, you can also buy a €36,000 bottle.
São Paulo, Brazil
Though most of their sales are done online, wine distributor Mistral wanted a store that would “innovate” the way their clients approached the wine world. The result, from Studio Arthur Casas, was this 100-square meter space that—amazingly enough—holds a sales space, cellar, storage, interactive gallery, reading room, and wine tasting tables. The space is an excellent mix of old and new, and an interactive table designed to showcase a monthly selection of wines (with sensors underneath each bottle to relay the appropriate content) is one of the store’s neatest features.
1. Hedonism Wines
At its very least, Hedonism Wines is a beautiful shop. At its most? A beautiful, look-over-there space that boasts some 5,500 wines (and 2,000 spirits) and may very well be the best wine emporium in the world. The brainchild of Russian businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin, the space manages to be both eclectic and refined all at once. Upon entering the store, shoppers are greeted by a massive chandelier that has been formed by some 240 individual wine glasses. Decorative frogs hang from the bathroom ceiling, and there are mechanical tree branches that “envelop” bottles of wine. Vinyl records—Joy Division, Janis Joplin, to name a few—are played over the store’s speakers, and there is a section for children to play—replete with iPads.