Article By Stephen Robinson
No.44, Bing Jiao Xiang.
Noonnight – Midnight
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 123RMB
If you haven’t noticed, people around Xi’an really like bars. It’s seems like there is a new bar that pops up every day, and there are more always on the way. However, most of these bars fall into two distinct categories – beer and cocktails. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with a nice cold craft brew or an expertly mixed concoction, there is something that has been missing from the landscape for quite some time – a wine bar. Enter CUB.
While there have been wine shops in Xi’an before, they have often been very upscale affairs – a white glove and tablecloth kind of place. This model has often run afoul of the drinking style of the locals, who like to drink heavy and have a good time, so most of them didn’t stand the test of time. CUB takes a different approach to wine. There are no thousand RMB bottles in carefully curated fridges that stay closed tighter than vaults. No, the bottles at cub are extremely affordable, with many bottles coming in a under 100RMB, with most staying between 200 and 300.
Besides being affordable, the wines are also quite tasty. The wine that we tried first was a Riesling from Germany. The wine was cold, as it should be, due to being stored in the fridge with all the other wines. It was slightly sweet and crisp and very enjoyable. Instead of using a metal wine bucket, bottle chilling is done by placing ice and water in a clear vinyl bag. This is just one of the ways that they are trying to remove some of the pretentiousness around wine. The staff are not in vests and white gloves, but instead sport a number of tattoos and casual clothing. Things are out in the open and prices are easy to read.
The decoration of the place is relatively bare compared to some places, mostly concrete and wooden furniture. The wine is stacked up on shelves not far from the tables, with prices clearly tagged so that you can start eyeing your next bottle while finishing your first. There is art on the walls for sale, with a variety of different types that you can admire or purchase, depending on how many bottles you’ve had.
There are also other beverages available, including draft beers from Great Leap Brewery in Beijing. After downing our bottle of white, I opted to switch over to a Chesty Puller APA, which was served up ice cold and refreshing. If you need some nibbles, there is also a refrigerator cabinet full of cheeses and cold cut for you to select from, or you can opt for a sampler platter. We received one that was cheese, salami and olives, along with a bit of crusty bread that went really well with our wine. There are also little packages of snacks that you can purchase to pair well along with your wine.
Even though CUB has only been open for two months, they already are a local favorite, filling up quickly in the evening, though they are also open during the day from noon, so they would also be perfect for an afternoon tipple or a leisurely weekend. The prices are low enough where you can actually sit and enjoy yourself. Even the beers on draft are not overly expensive, with a pint running from 38-58RMB.
While this is not what you might expect from a traditional wine bar, there is a lot to appreciate with CUB. They are making wine more accessible to locals and making it easy to enjoy for all. And that is a good thing.
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.