Since we mentioned the area back in September, the alleyway of bars around 528 Kangding Lu have found their feet, and the distinct Belgian / Spanish and Serbian flavour of each place in the neighbourhood is like a Whistle Stop tour of Europe. With booze.
Recently added to this cosmopolitan mix is Cuvee, a welcome addition to Shanghai’s wine bar scene (the name is a French wine term meaning a vat or tank) that also serves coffee, beer, whiskey and (pretty soon) food.
You’re almost certainly here for the wine though, sold at prices ranging from a little under 200RMB, up to the limit of your credit card.
Individual glasses (40-100RMB) are kept behind the bar, but to choose a bottle you walk around the climate-controlled cellar and look around for yourself. Wines are arranged by region and individually priced with reasonable markups.
We plumped for a dark and smooth Malbec which at 280RMB included a bottle of sparkling water to enjoy at the table (for take-outs you get no water and a 25% discount).
Staff are on hand to answer questions, help out with your choices, or just leave you the hell alone if your prefer. This is a grown-up sort of place for people who already know about what they’re drinking, or want to learn in a place that is neither snobby nor packed elbow-to-elbow.
The bar is tucked away at the far end of the Kangding Lu enclave and the styling is similarly protective and cosy- curved brick walls, wood, low candles: if you end up at one of the choice tables by the fireplace you’re going to find it hard to leave- especially when the weather turns sharp.
Cuvee is in its soft opening stage right now (Shanghai-speak for when the paperwork isn’t quite signed off) so the opening hours are a little hard to pin down. If you do go and it’s closed- then you’re steps away from three other great places to drink.
Expect to hear solid details about a grand opening in the next couple of weeks.