Gone are the days when wine lovers in Ubud had to ration every last drop of that precious duty-free wine bottle. This foodcentric hotspot is now awash in sweet spots to have a good glass of vino. From breezy rooftop hangouts to romantic riverside settings, these are our top picks for Ubud’s best wine bars where you can do some serious sipping.
With seven levels spilling down the side of a ravine overlooking the Wos River, Bridges Bali makes for a scenic setting to indulge in fine gourmet cuisine and wine. It doesn’t hurt that they also have one of the best wine cellars on the island with a carefully curated selection of Old and New World bottles at prices to fit all budgets. Head to their Divine Wine and Cocktail Bar between 4pm and 6:30pm every day except Friday to sample imported wines for just IDR 100,000++ per glass, or come for Divine Fridays from 4pm to 8pm when they offer five wines at special prices, complimentary canapés and live acoustic music. For those who want to brush up on their wine knowledge, the Wine Tasting Masterclasses with house sommelier Rahul Mehra are always fun and informative.
Jl. Raya Campuhan, Ubud, Bali (next to Museum Antonio Blanco)
T: 0361 970095
Café des Artistes
The Belgians know a thing or two about good food and wine, which is why formerly Belgian-owned Café des Artistes has been a go-to spot for foodies and tipplers since it opened in 2003. Grab one of the comfy cushioned seats indoors amid local artworks or outdoors on the patio, and dig into dishes like the Escargots Bourguignonne, Salade Nicoise or Lamb Medallions “Dijonnaisse” paired with a glass, carafe or bottle of red or white from wine-growing regions as far reaching as France, Italy, Spain, California, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. They also serve up one of the best steak dinners in town. What’s that you say? A thick juicy tenderloin steak paired with a big fat glass of Shiraz? Yes please.
Jl. Bisma 9X, Ubud, Bali
T: 0361 972 706
You couldn’t ask for a more picturesque setting than Cascades, an award-winning restaurant at the Viceroy Bali that sits on the edge of a ridge overlooking the Petanu River valley. Sidle up to the bar next to the infinity pool and take some time to go over their extensive wine list that has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its sublime selection of bottles from around the world at all price points. Savour your syrah or sauvignon blanc as you gaze out at the jungle spilling down to the valley below, and be sure to try some of their modern French and Indonesian creations like the foie gras terrine with Balinese rujak salad, or the cardamom ginger spiced lamb stew.
Jl. Lanyahan, Ubud, Bali
T: 0361 970 777
Chef Will Meyrick is a household name in the Southeast Asian foodie scene with four wildly successful restaurants under his belt including Sarong and Mama San in Seminyak, E&O Jakarta, and now Hujan Locale right here in Ubud. At Hujan Locale the space is fresh and modern with huge wooden shutters that can be flung open to allow breezes to flow in, cushy banquette seating and intimate candlelit tables. The menu focuses on authentic Indonesian dishes from across the archipelago, all of which can be paired with fine wines that have been chosen to complement the vibrant flavours of the food.
Jl. Sri Widari 5, Ubud, Bali
T: 0361 8493092
Old World ambiance abounds at this chic Provencal-style bistro where you could while away hours sipping and snacking. You can cool off inside in air-conditioned comfort, although we prefer to sit on the garden patio and do a spot of people watching. The wine list here includes a great selection of wines by the glass from Australia, Chile and California, all at just IDR 65,000++, as well as enticing bottles like Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah from Napa Valley. Throw in a few tapas like the Arancini Balls or Farmer’s Board with imported meats, cheeses and olives, and you’ve got your afternoon made.
Jl. Hanoman 44, Ubud, Bali
T: 0361 4792077
Walk by Lamak on busy Monkey Forest Road and you might be fooled into thinking that this is just another restaurant on the strip. However, step inside and you enter a world of bubbling fountains, cool wood and stone carvings, and a huge bar boasting one of the biggest wine lists in town. They’ve got pretty much every grape varietal you can think of here from Semillon to Sangiovese, Muscat and Macabeo. The wine list is divided into categories like ‘Easy Going Reds’ and ‘Whites with Body’ to help you choose a bottle by taste, and every bottle ordered comes with complimentary tapas.
Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali
T: 0361 974668
As one of most lauded fine-dining restaurants in all of Bali (and Southeast Asia for that matter), it should come as no surprise that award-winning Mozaic has a superb wine list that is on par with their modern gastronomic creations. In fact, Mozaic was awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their interesting vintages and selections that pair perfectly with the cuisine. Of course, a tasting menu with wine pairings will definitely set you back a few, but the service, ambiance, flavours and expertise are worth every penny.
Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud, Bali
T: 0361 975768
Don’t let the name fool you—Room4Dessert is so much more than just a sophisticated sweet treats spot. Here Chef Goldfarb and his talented team work with local ingredients to create inspired dishes both of the savoury and sweet variety, accompanied by a stellar wine list with bottles from around the globe. Stop by on a Tuesday for their Ubud Whiners night, an evening of wine, cheese and live jazz where you can get flights of wine, cheese boards and tapas at great prices, all while grooving to smooth rhythms by the Jeko Fauzy Trio. Room4Dessert also does Supper Club nights with guest chefs and fab weekend brunches where the good food and vino flows in their garden setting.
Jalan Sanggingan, Ubud, Bali
T: 081 236 662 806
*This article originally debuted in Ubud Life magazine No. 25 and has been modified for Ubud Gourmet.
*The featured photo is courtesy of Bridges Bali.