Image courtesy of Flickr Image courtesy of Flickr © Faisal Akram

The best enotecas in Milan

Excellent wine selection paired with authentic ambiance make for a beautiful experience of Italian wine.

Where does one need to go to enjoy Milan’s wine scene? Fortunately, the city offers such a wide array of top-notch enoteche (wine bars) that visitors and locals are truly spoilt for choice. Here are a few of our favourite places where to savour a glass of the good stuff:

Le Cantine Isola

how to drink wine 2

Located in Milan’s bustling Chinatown, Le Cantine Isola is one of the city’s most established and beloved bodegas. This cosy informal cantina is a place in which patrons can sample some of the best Italian and international labels. Learn more about the wines by chatting with the management or by perusing the shelves. Handwritten tags on each bottle detail the story of the wines with poems transcribed by Tina, the mother of Le Cantine Isola’s owner, Luca Sarais.

N'ombra de Vin


Established in 1973 in Brera, one of Milan's most stylish neighbourhoods in the historical city centre, N’ombra de Vin is an elegant enoteca-bistro located in what used to be a refectory used by Augustinian Friars of the Romanesque Basilica of San Marco, situated just next door.

Schedule a tasting and/or food pairing course, enjoy an aperitivo or stay for dinner to enjoy traditional, local cuisine. This refined gastro-wine bar is open late into the night, morphing into a Milanese meeting point characterised by artistic initiatives, live music, and high-quality wine. N'Ombra de Vin will be open every day of the week for EXPO 2015.

La Cieca


Just around the corner from the always busy Porta Romana stands the equally trafficked La Cieca. This enoteca’s name translates to “The Blind” and guests are offered the chance to taste their wine in that same way; blindly. Order one of three wines available that day and it will be served in a darkened glass. If you can correctly guess the content of your glass (name of the producer, year, grape variety and/or the region), your wine is on the house.

Vino al vino


The understated Vino al Vino is a tried and true favourite of the Milanese. Located near the university, students and residents alike flock the wine bar for the relaxed atmosphere and expertise of its owner, Antonio. The vast selection of wine lining the walls and communal tables set the perfect tone for a fine glass of wine in good company.

Il Cavallante


Tucked away without a sign, Il Cavallante is the perfect example of a classic, cosy Milanese enoteca. Local wine lovers frequent the bar for its friendly atmosphere, excellent wine selection and the infallible knowledge of owner Sergio and his talented sommelier, Manuel. Enjoy a glass on their terrance on a hot summer night for a truly refreshing experience.

Related: How to order wine like an Italian

1 Cantine Isola
2 N'ombra de Vin
3 Vino al vino
4 La Cieca
5 Il Cavallante