The wine bar as an old friend

Vino Culture is an honest wine bar without the pretense of a chic/gourmet/"wow" kind of place. This is a cozy spot in the center of Plovdiv performing the function for which it was designed, including a nice storage space for the wines in a secret ;) cellar downstairs.

Vino Culture has a few simple goals to fulfill since its opening in 2014: to build up respect for wine, to make it available to wine lovers, to show new and unfamiliar varieties, and to inform and educate the visitors without a drop of patronizing superiority. Here, wine and the attention to its selection are major players aiming to broaden your horizons and intrigue the senses.

Vino Culture is located in the Old Town of Plovdiv on 5 Otec Paisiy Str. and the corner of Rilski metoh Str., just a couple of steps away from the main pedestrian street, i.e. you won't need your car to get there which should not be on your mind anyway when going to a wine bar. The facade of the bar is discrete and you should not be surprised by the sign above the door that reads "Le Petit Monde"; this is the local "small world" of wine. Do come in!

We chose Vino Culture as a pleasant and thematic space to have an interview with a winemaker, but the bar is not just a place for meetings. Small surprises lurk around each corner; it's the details that add to the character. Vino Culture is like an old friend whom you're always happy to meet.

In an informal conversation with the man behind the bar, Boris Dobrev, we learn that Vino Culture is also a place for art in its many manifestations. While talking over a cup of dessert wine from Portugal, there are people putting up an exhibition of photographs and soon enough we realize that we've just missed a live music session: Fridays are usually devoted to jazz/chill/acoustic performances of Bulgarian musicians. Well, what can I say... we should come again!?!

I do not know how, but our conversation with Boris once again comes to a point where we start discussing the positive and not-so-positive practices in the wine industry. He is a man of strong opinions who has reached his conclusions the hard way, through experience. He insists on the proper storage of the wines offered at the bar and tries to work directly with the wineries. He always strives to offer new varieties and styles, bringing recognition to some more neglected sparkling and fortified wines that may not be upfront bestsellers.

We agree that as much as we all want things to change overnight, we have to be patient and, above all, persevere with our beliefs. Vino Culture is an expression of the aspirations of its team to do things their way. So far, it seems to be turning out great.

The bar is gaining popularity and despite its modest representation in the media, it has a regular clientele visiting the place to be immersed in a comfortable, friendly and casual atmosphere where a glass of good wine is guaranteed. The Vino Culture team organize wine tastings with diverse themes. Boris believes it is important that a person should be left alone to discover the character of a wine and its peculiarities without being a slave to label descriptions and recommendations. He says that tasting events in Vino Culture strictly adhere to this maxim.

Vino Culture may not suit the snootier of tastes but certainly there are many wine lovers who find the idea behind it inspiring. Even before we met with Boris, we heard rumors about the opening of another Vino Culture wine bar in Sofia. Our question whether this was true, received a knowing smile but no specific answer. I have a weakness for wishful thinking which leaves me with a sense of a "to be continued" ending to this story. For now, however, Vino Culture awaits you for a cultural exchange between 9.00 am and 11.00 pm (with a playful wink) in our beautiful European Capital of Culture - Plovdiv.