Brave New World

I don’t know about you, but wine is a pretty important part of my life. Don’t get me wrong – I’m no wine snob (or lush), but I do enjoy a good glass. And I enjoy it even more if I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for it.

Drinking New World wines, in particular Australian, New Zealand and South African, is one of the best ways to have good wine without breaking the bank. New World wines give you the same impact of a French wine – complexity, character, structure, balance, finish – but for less money. Unlike many Old World (French) wines, you can drink them straight away and don’t have to wait ten years before they have matured. I mean does everyone in France have a wine cellar?

There are a few places around Brussels that sell New World wines, including supermarkets, but the best selection and advice is found at Mig’s World Wines and Crush Wine.

Crush Wine is a great little shop in Brussels, specializing in Australian and New Zealand wines. Started in 2006 by Australian Glen, the store is now run by Max who provide helpful, friendly service. The store boasts an impressive collection of over 200 Australian wines, one of the largest in Europe, with prices starting at only €7.

The store is cozy and conveniently located if you work in the EU district (just next to the Parliament). You don’t have to be a wine expert to find something good – the owner is very approachable and can recommend a wine based on your tastes (no matter how underdeveloped you palate might be). Get a preview of their selection via their online wine list. You can order by phone or email for delivery in Belgium or elsewhere in Europe. Crush also runs monthly wine tasting events.

My husband (who is a wine snob :)) says this is his favorite wine shop in Brussels.

39 Rue Caroly, 1050 Ixelles 
Tel: +32 2 502 6697
Open Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 7pm, Saturday occasionally (call ahead)

 

Mig’s, located on Chaussée de Charleroi close to Place Stephanie, offers new world wines from Australia and New Zealand, as well as a selection from all over the world, including the US, Tanzania, Hungary and even Belgium.

Open since 1999, the shop is run by Miguel (aka Mig), a Belgian born and raised in Australia, a self-taught wine aficionado. He has help from Lucy, an American raised in Paris and Brussels, and Xavier, a Belgian, who both studied oenology.

Their philosophy is perfect for someone like me (who enjoys a glass but doesn’t have much of a clue) – provide wine for all tastes and budgets with knowledgeable advice. Mig’s has a good section in the store and a huge wine list online. They also sell champagne, dessert wine, and liquor, and can place special orders from its suppliers’ catalogues. You can also stop by the store for one of their regular tasting sessions.

42 Chaussée de Charleroi, 1060 Saint-Gilles
Tel: +32 2 534 77 03
Open Monday to Saturday, 11am to 7pm

Images via Condé Nast and Grape & Grain.

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6 thoughts on “Brave New World

  1. Crush Wine is moving up to Merode very soon which is a shame given the lack of amenities in the EU area. Le Cellier had a very good selection once upon a time, but apart from that, availability is rather limited.

  2. mikanqueen says:

    I also like Wine in the City at Place Reune Astrid. Looking at their website, they seem to have expanded considerably since I visited early on. Their concept is to make matching your wine to your menu easy by suggesting wines which are good with red meat, with fish, etc
    http://www.wineinthecity.be/index.php

    While your at Mig’s, you have to try the Vins de Roisin sparkling rhubarb wine (L’Effervescene de Roisin). It’s delicious as an apero or dessert wine and is made in Belgium!

  3. Xavier Decramer says:

    Granted, it’s not in the EU quarters but since most of you have company cars I’m sure you’ll find a way to get there: http://www.chai-bar.be/
    Yes they have new world wines but also the best the old continent has to offer!
    Finally since we’re talking about wine, it must be said that Colruyt’s wine selection and prices are actually very good!
    Xavier

    • Jane says:

      Yes, agree, Chai Bar is a great shop. They’re very friendly and helpful, and sometimes are very generous with tastings 🙂 Thanks for the tips Xavier – hope all is well with you!

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