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On the bar side of one of Mendoza’s most famous restaurants, Siete Cocinas, is the wilder side of owner Pablo del Rio - his colourful and quirky bar, Zampa. It’s the perfect spot for a glass of red and one of their fantastic empanadas to kick off your evening with friends. Their wine list includes real wine treasures like Ver Sacrum and Revolver, which are hard to find anywhere else.
Naoki Wine Garden (formerly Wine O’Clock)
This wine shop has a secret garden right in the heart of Mendoza city centre - you can enjoy the enormous range of wines (and the discounted prices of a wine shop) with friends in the different gardens or private tasting rooms of the wine shop. If you arrive at a weekend you might even be able to convince them to stoke up the barbie.
Right on Plaza Italia, this intimate restaurant has a secret: a speakeasy bar on the rooftop. You’ll have to get hold of the password from their Facebook page, but once you’ve got the magic words you’ll be led up the staircase and onto a cosy rooftop with delicious cocktails and a carefully curated wine list. The owners just happen to be a chef and sommelier - so you know you are in good hands for the entire evening.
The village of Chacras offers some urban calm and there are great gardens to be enjoyed. One of the liveliest wine gardens in Chacras is at El Mercadito, where you can order wine by the glass and bottle and catch up with friends in the early evening sunshine - or stay for dinner. Beer-drinkers can pop next-door to the sister restaurant, Barijho Beer Garden.
There couldn’t be a more central meeting point to get a drink with friends than the Terrazas wine bar of Park Hyatt - right on the main Plaza. The Hyatt also boasts a more intimate wine bar indoors and two restaurants, but if you are going for maximum visibility - take a seat on the outdoor terraza which overlooks the main street and Plaza Independencia. There are hundreds of wines in the cellar, so you can easily spend a couple hours here sipping, swirling and people watching.
By Amanda Barnes
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