Where to Drink Wine in Bogota, Colombian Wine Culture & More.
When it comes to alcohol, Colombians cherish their national beverages. Friday night hits and Colombians love to crack open their favorite bottle of aguardiente and knock back a few shots of the anise-flavored liquor amongst friends.
When they have a get together with family and friends it’s also common to have refajo on the table, a mix of Colombina and beer. Apart from aguardiente another popular hard liquor is rum. Popular brands easily found everywhere include Ron Caldas and Ron Santafe.
For those of us that are not from here, although having juice at every meal is nice, we can’t help but miss our glass of Chardonnay, Merlot, or what have you for lunch.
However, wine here in Colombia does not seem to be the first option when choosing an alcoholic beverage to accompany a snack or meal. Nonetheless, it’s obvious there is a strong interest in the fermented grape juice as you’ll find a relatively large selection to choose from in your local supermarket. Obviously, there is a demand for it. So that leaves me to question: where exactly does wine stand in Colombian culture?
The wine production industry in Colombia is very scaled-back as the weather simply does not allow for quality wine production. As a result, the Colombian wine sector mainly depends on importation with over 100 distributors in Colombia, the country has seen continuous and steady growth in the market over the last 10 years.
Dominating the Colombian market, Chile has the largest share of 46%. Argentina follows by 20%, Spain by 10,5% and lastly, France with 9,2%.*
Although 23 million liters of wine were sold in Colombia in 2014, the numbers are still small as the average Colombian consumes only 1,5 liters of wine annually! (That’s practically my weekly consumption!)
This is nothing compared to the French who consume an average of 44 bottles per person annually.
However, wine consumption in Colombia is on the rise thanks to a higher disposable income of the increasing middle class and a growing curiosity for wine.
Many places in Bogotá offer the public a chance to delve into the sensual wonderful world of wine.
Want to know where to get your wine in Bogotá? Below I’ve provided a list of places to buy, taste and discover vino.
A quaint family business with several stores spread out over some of the major cities in Colombia, Vinos del Rio’s goal is to make wine accessible for all those who are curious. Their beautiful and spacious amenities serve not only as a wine store but also as a bar and restaurant.
And if you’re looking for a wine club, Vinos del Rio offers a personalized wine experience shipped right to your door through Tusommelier.com. Offering wines from Argentina, Chile, U.S, Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, and Uruguay you’ve got plenty to choose from.
Did I mention they do weekly Thursday wine tastings? Starting from 7 pm a sommelier or enologist walks you through a sensorial introduction into the world of wine where you’ll explore 3 different wines, paired with a delicately crafted appetizer, entrée, and dessert. The menu and wine change weekly so be sure to repeat the experience!
TASTING COST: $60,000. Reserve through Instagram, email or by phone.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Avenida Calle 82 No. 10 – 45
The owners of Clos, Juan Antonio and Elena are true lovers of wine. Having given up their flower business a few years back to follow their passion for wine, the couple import from Spain, Italy, and Portugal. Clos Vinos specializes in boutique wineries and looks to bring back not just any bottle, but ones with a story.
They handpick their wineries and bottles to offer their clients a wide variety of unique flavors and have the sole representation in Colombia of some of the finest Italian wine from the region of Piedmont.
Not to mention they offer well-priced bottles without huge markups like the big supermarkets. Check out their catalog of their full selection and prices.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Distributing throughout restaurants here in Bogota, they also sell to individuals and offer discounts depending on how many bottles are purchased. You can find them in the Wine Store or simply call or email them to purchase directly. The friendly pair will gladly orient you according to your taste.
4 young entrepreneurs have brought a little piece of France with them to Bogotá, offering a selection of a total of 8 different red, white and blush wines from the Aquitaine region including wine denominations from Bordeaux and Bergerac.
Want a taste? They organize wine tastings in Bogotá to learn about their niche selection. The tastings comprise of 2 wines and small bites to accompany the bottles, led by a sommelier who walks you through an introduction of the aromas and tannins presented.
TASTING COST: $40,000. Reserve by phone or email.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: You can find their bottles in several restaurants sprinkled over Bogotá, purchase directly by email or phone or assist in a private tasting. For more information please visit their website.
There are many other places in Bogotá to discover wine including:
Be sure to check them out, I’m sure they won’t disappoint!
Have you had a wonderful wine experience in Bogotá? If so, tell me about it in the comment box below, I’d love to hear it!