As a Londoner, when I travel to a different city I always check out what they have to offer in terms of natural wine and Milan didn't let down! There is so much to explore and the natural wine scene there is vibrant and fun. And it gets even better when you are with a dear friend. Let's explore the Milan natural wine scene, shall we?
This is exactly what a natural wine lover expects from a natural wine bar - cosy, quite tiny, rustic interior, blackboards for a wine list, wines of the day, dim lights. You enter Enoteca Surlì and think - this is where I want to be for the next hour or two! No need to worry if you don't know what to choose from the list, just ask and the wine-loving staff will show you what's available while also giving you a bit of background on each wine. You will also be served some nibbles and if you fancy more food you can order creative cheese/charcuterie boards. The wines we had were both from Kamm winery, vins d'Alsace: Gewurztraminer QV.G 2018, orange wine which is intensely perfumed and floral, truly unique and perfect for our late aperitivo, and Pinot Gris (Maceration) 2018, which is a truly mind-blowing one as it looks like a red wine but it's made from white grapes, therefore it may not even classify as a red or a rosé, but possibly orange - the deep colour is due to maceration. It just makes you think how surprising and colourful the natural wine world is! And, of course, delicious.
Enoteca Surlì is located in La Fontana area in Milan, which is a hip spot for a night out. Totally recommended! Pro tip: the locals enjoy their natural wine quite late in the night, so make your way there a little earlier if you want to find a table straightaway. And by early I mean 10pm.
Located on the opposite side of town is Vinoir, the natural wine bar with probably the most elegant name.
With a minimalistic, rustic-chic design, walls entirely covered by shelves of natural wine bottles that are all carefully categorised and are available for purchase, Vinoir was absolutely sensational. So much to choose from! As a big fan of Rocco di Carpeneto's natural perfection, I couldn't resist a bit of Andeira - Barbera 100%, totally indigenous yeasts, second fermentation in the bottle. It was so interesting to see the process of opening the bottle, the energy of this wine that wanted to get out of the bottle Formula 1 style. A beautiful and unusual expression of a Barbera with the level of perfection that you can expect from Rocco di Carpeneto winery.
Vinoir are located in the trendiest part of town - i Navigli - which you can't miss when visiting Milan.
Pro tip: buy a bottle to take home if you can, they have such a great selection!
Other natural wine bars that I didn't get to visit are e/n Enoteca Naturale, Champagne Socialist, Tipografia Alimentare, Vinello. Will need more than one weekend to visit all of these, so I'll be back!