For almost 7 years, we’ve been searching for the perfect wine bar in Brussels. Last night, by chance, we may just have found it at Etiquette Wines.
Like most expats in Brussels, we rely on recommendations to find great new places. Sometimes these recommendations come from friends, or blogs, or guidebooks, but this time, our discovery happened entirely by chance.
While in our car last night, Andrew nodded to the right and said, “I’ve noticed this wine bar while I sit in traffic and it looks like it could be good. We should try it sometime.”
Always up for a glass of wine, I agreed and wondered aloud if they served food as well.
You see, since moving to Belgium, we’ve been on a quest to find our perfect wine bar in Brussels. It would be open late, until midnight would be perfect. It would have a wide variety of wines; both new world and old. It would serve food; not necessarily full meals, but at least some lovely snacks. It would be cosy and nicely designed and the staff would be friendly and helpful. It was a tall order for Brussels, but we remained confident our dream wine bar existed.
As we passed by Etiquette, I filed it away in my mental ‘places to try out,’ file and moved on.
But fate had other plans. The restaurant we planned to dine at was closed and we hadn’t bothered to make a backup plan. “Well, why don’t we go check out Etiquette, while we’re over here?” I said. And, by the end of the evening, we were very glad our original plans had been waylaid.
We entered Etiquette at almost 8pm. For a Wednesday night, it was bustling. We grabbed a table and looked around. So far, we liked what we saw.
The decor is trendy, but not overly so. It still has comfy sofas, wine boxes scattered about, and a warm, cosy atmosphere. One criterion met.
We looked over the menu. It contained a variety of tapas (or Pintxos) and several larger plates of cheese or charcuterie or both. We discreetly peeked at our neighbours’ meals and liked what we saw. Food requirement check.
We flagged down a server and he explained the restaurant concept and menu. He took order with a friendly smile and offered to send over the sommelier to explain the wine system. Friendly service check.
The sommelier arrived and explained the wine system. First you purchase a chip card for a €5 deposit. You add as much money to the card as you like. Then you head over to the wall of sophisticated wine fridges.
Each of the 7 fridges contains 8 different wines, with a selection of whites and reds, new world and old. You select your wine, insert your card in the reader, push a button indicating if you want 30cl, a half glass or a full glass, and your wine is dispensed into your glass. Your card is debited the cost of the wine and you take your glass back to your table.
In addition to the 56 wines ‘on tap’ you can order certain wines by the glass, directly from the bar. Or, you can purchase a bottle from the Etiquette wine shop selection, and drink it at your table for an €8 corkage fee. Great selection of wines? Check!
With our glasses filled, we headed to our table, where our cheese and charcuterie plate awaited. The portion was perfect for sharing. We also tried a pork belly pintxo that was gorgeous, even to this non-pork fan.
Our food and wines were excellent; the service and atmosphere was great, so we only had one last piece of the puzzle to check out – the opening hours.
Success! Etiquette is open from noon until 11pm, Monday to Wednesday and until midnight Thursday to Saturday. Sadly, it’s closed Sundays, but I guess even we need a break from wine occasionally.
As we left, we learned from one of the managers Etiquette just opened in September. We hope this gem will be around for a long time to come. At last, our search, for wine bar perfection in Brussels, is over.
Avenue Emile de Mot, 19
Tel : +32 2 644 64 11
For more great restaurants in Belgium and beyond, check out our Restaurant Review page.