Natural wine is: organic or biodynamic and has no added pesticides, sulphites or chemical yeasts.
Those who know a little about wine will know that Copenhagen ranks top of the list of places to drink natural wine, surpassing other cities whose proximity to actual vineyards would make them the more obvious choices. But for those less in the know, you might be wondering, what is natural?
By Hazel Evans
There is nothing odd about natural wine. In fact, it’s more of a return to making wine the way it was made back in the good old days before wine producers started adding or removing things during winemaking in order to create a consistent, commercial product each time.
Christopher Melin of Vin de Table in Copenhagen's Nordvest district is one of the men at the centre of the natural wine scene, and he imports wine for many of the bars and restaurants mentioned below.
“Wine is not supposed to be consistent—it changes with every harvest and that’s the beauty of it.”
With natural wine, there’s no messing around with pesticides, sulphites, chemical yeasts or anything remotely like that. At its heart, the natural wine movement is about letting nature decide how wine tastes. So natural wines are products that very closely reflect the climate and ecology of individual vineyards. Sometimes it tastes funky; sometimes it tastes just like the Chardonnay, you know. But the definition is loose and often mixed up.
“Wine can, for example, very well be biodynamic or organic without being natural, if other, non-natural, interferences occur at some point during the production.”
Down-to-earth café, bar, and eatery La Banchina is one of many places in Copenhagen where you can enjoy natural wine.
Alongside the basic definition, a culture of drinking natural wine has recently emerged that includes several other principles. One of them is to have fun drinking wine - that enjoying wine shouldn’t be about reeling off facts about grapes and the various vintages, but more about asking yourself, “Do I enjoy this wine?” or “How does it make me feel?” or, perhaps, “What does this remind me of?”. There’s a loose approach to understanding and describing wine, which also makes it accessible and inclusive.
“But why Copenhagen?!” you might ask. It seems odd that a country with such a flat terrain and lack of vineyards should become the unofficial heart of the natural wine movement.
As with most new developments in Copenhagen’s food scene, the natural wine prevalence can be traced back to Restaurant noma.
Restaurant noma was one of the first restaurants in Copenhagen to serve natural wine.
When noma first opened, the head sommelier at the time, Pontus Elofsson, realised that natural wine was the perfect match for the dishes that René Redzepi was creating. Dishes that used sustainable ingredients based on the same principles as natural wine: with intentions to highlight the brilliance of nature, rather than masking it. Pontus enlisted Sune Rosforth, who was, back then, one of the only natural wine importers in Copenhagen as noma’s primary supplier.
“At the time, there were only a few restaurants in Copenhagen serving natural wine, but other chefs soon followed suit and, pretty soon, wine importers, wine bars and bottle shops began to spring up all over the place.”
Today, wherever you are in Copenhagen, you won’t be far away from natural wine.
Natural wine is: organic or biodynamic and has no added pesticides, sulphites or chemical yeasts.
First natural wine importer in Copenhagen: Rosforth & Rosforth that opened in 1994.
Neighbourhood with the highest density of natural wine bars: Nørrebro.
Since 2003: praised Restaurant noma shaped the popularity of natural wine in Copenhagen.
Natural wine - press photos. The photographers must be credited.
Nørre Allé 27, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
Café Stadion has with great success been transformed from FC Copenhagen’s regular pub to hipster paradise with a sharp green cuisine and natural wines.
Down-to-earth café-cum-bar in a skatepark serves hearty, healthy breakfast and coffee in the morning and then switches to wine at around lunchtime. Here you’ll find a wine fridge stocked full of goodies, including delicious bottles of natural wine.
Gaarden & Gaden
When you’re cycling along Nørrebrogade at night and you spot that glowing red droplet, it’s calling you! Gaarden & Gaden is a bistro, café, bar, and sometimes a party location with an excellent collection of natural wines selected by the owner, Thomas.
Opened by Martin and Jesper, Pompette is another trailblazer in bringing natural wine to the people, by lowering the price. A glass costs only 50 kr., and your choices are red, white, orange, rosé or bubbles. Bottles are available to go or to drink in with a 100 kr. corkage charge. Bar snacks are also decently priced, and excellent to accompany the wonderful selection of wines available.
Rødder & Vin
Ravnsborggade 10, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
Solfinn has taken Nørrebro by storm with his natural wine antics. His shop is legendary for its pop-ups and he’s always finding new and exciting bottles to smash open (not literally, don’t worry) on the tasting table. It’s a bit like entering the living room of a friend who’s really into natural wine, and generous with it! He has also opened a sister “hole-in-the-wall” bar next door.
Fensmarkgade 27, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
Tucked into residential Nørrebro, Sabotøren feels like a hidden gem, but it has established itself pretty firmly in Copenhagen by now. Their by-glass menu is small, and you’ll find it scribbled onto ceramic tiles on the wall. Bottles are also available “to go” at takeout prices.
Jægersborggade 52, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
Jægersborggade’s wine shop and bar is filled to the brim with excellent bottles, and knowledge, to quench all your natural wine thirsts. The focus, as the name suggests, is on terroir, and the selection includes everything from Serbian to Chilean wines.
Griffenfeldsgade 17, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
The Nørrebro wine shop, deli, and bar serves simple snacks, natural wine, beer, and delicious drinks based on exceptional ingredients. They ensure that everything on the site is hand-harvested, organic or biodynamic. You will not find most of their products anywhere else. Retrieved from family businesses and made in limited batches where there is a minimum to no additives.
Baggesensgade 13, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
They don’t like to brag about it, but a lot of the wine flowing from Vinhanen’s taps is natural wine. Vinhanen’s wine is served straight from the tank, into the glass. Removing the bottling part of the process keeps the wine nice and affordable. Bottles can also be filled up, taken home, drunk, and returned, in keeping with Denmark’s Pant system for bottle recycling.
Kapelvej 1, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
Yellow is a true neighbourhood gem with good eats and great drinks at its core. They have a changing selection of natural wine, locally crafted beers, high-quality spirits and great vibes. On weekends they have DJs dropping by to boost the mood and get the dancing started.
Trianglen 7, Østerbro, Copenhagen Ø - Website
Østerbro desperately needed a good wine bar, and thank god it got Pasteur. The prices aren’t low, but the wines are incredible, so it’s definitely worth a try. And it’s also a restaurant with some very tasty dishes on the menu.
Paris 90 – det franske vinkort
Classensgade 25, Østerbro, Copenhagen Ø - Website
Danish oysters, French truffles and a great selection of French natural wines are some of the products produced exclusively from this shop at affordable prices. Paris 90 and its owner, Victor, brings life and enthusiasm for natural products through this hidden gem in Østerbro’s Rosenvænget neighbourhood.
Bar with living room vibes serving all kinds of natural wines - from the funky to the conventional-tasting, there’s something for everyone. Small dishes, snacks and niche board games are also available.
Sønder Boulevard 72, Vesterbro, Copenhagen V - Website
Café Dyrehaven is a modern ‘bodega’. Inside, the old pub atmosphere is maintained with a mix of modern and youthful vibes. Outside, the seating area is a hotspot in the sunshine. They have natural wines, local craft beers, drinks and everything an old pub would have.
Henrik Steffens vej 2, Frederiksberg - Website
A Frederiksberg watering hole for friends and wine lovers. Their wines cover both traditional, modern, and more "funky" styles. The common denominator, however, is that they are all made by winemakers, who themselves have gotten dirt under their nails in the process.
A tiny, almost hole in the wall, wine and oyster bar. It's connected to the famous fish and seafood restaurant Fiskebaren next door. Therefore, you can be sure that the oysters they serve are top quality and their wines on glass are as affordable as it gets. They also have an extensive wine list, including delicious and often funky bottles.
Facing the courtyard at Charlottenborg Art Gallery and as a neighbour to colourful Nyhavn, you will find Apollo Bar. It's mostly a bar with wine, beer, snacks and small dishes served during the week. From Thursday to Saturday, however, the vibe changes, and it turns more into a vibrant restaurant.
Skindergade 3, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
A gem nestled in the city centre, Bar’Vin’s rustic food is as tasty as its mostly natural wine menu. Go for the four-course tasting menu or order small dishes à la carte. It's definitely worth a try!
Lille Kongensgade 6, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
A wine bar and eatery in the heart of Copenhagen focusing on the simple pleasures in life. They serve natural wine hand-picked from independent farmers, accompanied by honest, delicious dishes that change depending on the season to enrich the dishes with freshly grown, seasonal based ingredients.
Nansensgade 45, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
A wine bar and casual eatery with “wine nerdery” at the centre of everything it does. Eat dinner, join a wine tasting event or sit at the bar and down a glass or two of their wonderful selection of wines.
Havnegade 53A, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Rosforth & Rosforth’s sister bar, serving wines imported by the legendary sommelier. French, Georgian, Chilean - you name it. They have wines from every corner of the world. Since opening, it has evolved into an eatery and restaurant with excellent small dishes. In the summer, it expands onto the harbour front with a breezy outside wining and dining area.
Esplanaden 3, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Lille Blå Vinbar, the colourful new natural wine bar from Sebastian Rind Nellemann and Christian Nedergaard, the team behind the wine bar Ved Stranden 10, the restaurant Admiralgade 26, and Österreich Vin (their wine import company and bottle shop).
Ved Stranden 10
A wine bar famous for its beautiful thin glasses and Austrian wines. Cosy on the inside, plenty of canal-side seating on the outside. There’s no set menu - simply describe what you feel like drinking and keep tasting until you find just the right wine for you. (Psst. Every Monday they serve “staff food” for the public, at a cost of 100 kr. a plate, from 6 pm until sold out).
Toto Vin & Spisebar
Amagerbrogade 145, Amager - Website
A much-needed cosy wine bar and eatery for the Amager area, from the guys behind Salon 39. There’s natural and not-so-natural wine on the menu.
Strandlodsvej 42 A, Amager - Website
Located on Amager in Copenhagen, Pirlo is an Italian wine bar with housemade pasta from the same owners as Toto Vin & Spisebar.
A waterside café and wine bar worth the trip out to Sydhavnen (if you’re not already there). Undoubtedly, Slusen has the largest selection of posh canned fish in the city, and a glass of wine will set you back as little as 45 kr.
Pompette located in the heart of Nørrebro.
The city’s finest pizza restaurant is part of the Puglisi family, which means its wine selection is imported by Vinikultur and it, therefore, offers some of the best natural wines around to pair with your pizza.
Rantzausgade 44, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
The wine list at Baka d'busk consists exclusively of natural wine, and the menu is entirely vegetarian with a focus on organic, seasonal, and local ingredients prepared with a focus on vegetables.
Cicchetti means small snacks or side dishes in Italian, which is exactly what this gem of a restaurant on Nørrebro will serve you. The menu changes weekly, sometimes even daily, depending on the seasonal produce and which products are available. They, of course, also have a great natural wine selection to go with your meal.
Restaurant Omar & Restaurant Safari
Baggesensgade 9, Nørrebro, Copenhagen N - Website
Omar and Safari are cosy, intimate, and inviting restaurants located in Nørrebro. These two sister restaurants are local gems that serve ambitious food and good wine for very reasonable prices.
Denmark’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant has also got natural wine on its menu (although not exclusively). In fact, they have four different wine pairing menus to go with the food menu. If you want natural wine, go for the “Heart & Soil” one. And yes, you’ll need to book a table in advance!
Nothing could feel more natural than dining amongst the plants and vegetables that grow on the ØsterGRO rooftop as you work your way through the entire natural wine pairing menu. Alternatively, order by the glass as you go.
Bevi Bevi & Bar la Una
Oehlenschlægersgade 53A, Vesterbro, Copenhagen V - Website
Tiny, Italian, laid-back bars and casual eateries located next to each other serving natural wines, excellent negronis, creamy burrata, crispy focaccia and filled to the brim with cosy vibes.
At Fiskebaren, it’s all about fresh, healthy, and delicious food based on fish and seafood as well as good wines to go with it. The atmosphere is informal, and the interior is quite rough.
Jarmers Plads 1, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Mes is a restaurant with a large selection of wine from Jura. This was once a winemaking region in France that was frowned upon. Now, it’s the hippest of the hip. Jura is like the Burgundy of the natural wine movement.
The dark horse of the natural wine scene, Nr. 30 blows away on all accounts with both food, wine, and affordable prices. The location is central, but the feeling of it remains local and hidden.
Admiralgade 26, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Admiralgade 26 is a restaurant by Christian Nedergaard and Sebastian Nellemann, who also run an amazing wine bar in Copenhagen named Ved Stranden 10. In fact, the two places are located just around the corner from each other. At Admiralgade 26, the wine is accompanied by a cuisine that is low-key but with an edge.
Store Kongensgade 34, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
A favourite hang-out spot of local chefs and said to be the best modern Italian restaurant in Copenhagen. Is more convincing really needed? The atmosphere at Barabba is vibrant and relaxed, and the menu is complemented by an ambitious wine menu with wines from a wide array of terroirs around the world.
Matt Orlando’s wild and wonderful restaurant Amass serves natural wine to blow your mind, along with the full tasting menu, the smaller tasting menu, or the sneak peek tasting menu. Your choice – either are incredible!
AFC (Amass Fried Chicken)
At Amass Fried Chicken, the menu is simple, revolving around the tender chicken with the crispy crust, which despite its simplicity, results in quite the tasting experience. A delicious and famous recipe, created by the former head chef at noma Matt Orlando. He also runs Amass next door, creating different restaurants that revolve around the same sustainable outlook on gourmet, making it possible to enjoy the finger-licking-good chicken with an excellent glass of natural wine.
Richard Hart, the man behind the famous and innovative bakery, Hart Bageri, has once again opened a bread-heaven located in the heart of Christianshavn named Hart Brød+Bar. It offers a wide range of bread and delicate sides throughout the day. In the evening, however, these are accompanied by an amazing wine list created in cooperation with the head sommelier at noma.
Copenhagen branch of the Bornholm-based restaurant is all about sourcing from nature, and their wine menu is no exception. Also, make sure to check out its sister restaurant, Pony.
Bar and eatery with a view, ocean access and a sauna. The wine menu is long, and it’s all-natural, or “clean”, as they prefer to call it. The lunch and dinner menu changes daily and is fish and vegetable-based.
Needs no words. Oh, alright then, just a few. Pioneer restaurant of the New Nordic movement, serving natural wines paired expertly with food since before natural wine was cool. Three seasons: Vegetable, Game & Forest and Seafood. Book ahead, well in advance.
A restaurant with an incredible view of the harbour and an exceptional long wine list. But don’t let that intimidate you - the staff are helpful and will always let you try before they pour you a glass to make sure it's just the right wine for you.
In the heart of the Copenhagen neighbourhood Christianshavn, you’ll find POPL, developed by veterans of the world-known Michelin restaurant, noma. At POPL, they’ve got a simple but delicious menu consisting of burgers, seasonally based sides and a list of their favourite beers, cocktails and wines including a great selection of natural wines.
Sankt Annæ 8
Wildersgade 52, Christianshavn - Website
A cosy little, village-like wine bar that does one dish a day (to take home or to eat in) at an excellent price. If you’re eating in, there’s plenty of wine to choose between, and the staff will guide you through the menu. If you’re waiting for your dinner to go, you can also choose to grab a glass of “waiting wine” for a mere 25 kr.
Il Buco started as a small import business that hosted occasional Italian pop-up dinners for friends. Now it’s a fully-fledged café and restaurant with an ever-growing import business, including wine. All-natural, all Italian, all very drinkable. Go for dinner or just share a bottle of bubbles with friends in the courtyard.
Borgbjergsvej 13, Sydhavnen, Copenhagen SV - Website
Spisestuen is an interpretation of a modern and local dining and wine lounge hidden in Sydhavnen, an up-and-coming neighbourhood by the harbour of Copenhagen. Here they make unpretentious, tasty food and serve mouthwatering natural wines.
GroSpiseri located on the rooftop of ØsterGRO in the lovely neighbourhood of Østerbro.
Sønder Boulevard 52, Vesterbro, Copenhagen V - Website
The bottle shop and often pop-up bar, Volatil, as the name suggests, don’t hold back on the attitude. They will guide you most amusingly to finding the bottle that’s right for you and boy do they have some good ones!
Gammel Kongevej 41, Vesterbro, Copenhagen V - Website
A shop favoured by locals that sells Rosforth & Rosforth wine, other deli food items, and exclusive sneakers (why not?). Watch out for their legendary grill pop-ups and various events. They’re fun!
Husted Vin Naboløs
Gammel Strand - Naboløs 6, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Husted’s central wine shop has shelves stacked with natural and less-natural wines. The staff offer excellent advice and tastings, and you’ll be unlikely to leave empty-handed.
Gammel Mønt 33, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Italian wine importer mainly functioning as a bottle shop with accessible (as in, not too high) prices. It also hosts aperitivo with wine and food at 5 pm Thursday - Saturday every weekend.
Rosforth & Rosforth
Knippelsbrogade 10, Christianshavn - Website
Sune Rosforth’s “showroom” located beneath the bridge is open to buy bottles at the price they sell to restaurants. During the summer, you can enjoy glasses of wine by the water. And also, make sure to keep an eye out for their pop-ups with chef friends.
Esplanaden 3, City centre, Copenhagen K - Website
Sebastian Rind Nellemann and Christian Nedergaard, the team behind the wine bar Ved Stranden 10 and restaurant Admiralgade 26, also run Österreich Vin: Their wine import company and bottle shop.
Smedetoften 23, Nordvest, Copenhagen NV - Website
Jon imports wine from his family’s vineyard, Le Raït, in France and a whole bunch of other delicious natural wines from fellow producers - mostly French. When he’s not in France, he’s manning his cosy little shop in Nordvest.
Vin de Table
Christopher Melin is one of the men at the centre of the natural wine scene, and he imports wine for many of the bars and restaurants mentioned above. He also co-founded Æblerov: a company producing natural cider from Danish apples. It all comes together at Vin De Table, where you can spend hours browsing the shelves checking out the different wines and cider. Every weekend, the shop curates a “weekend package” with three bottles that are open for tasting and can be purchased together with a discount.
Vin de Table located in Nordvest imports wine for many of the bars and restaurants in Copenhagen.