Maltese wines have improved substantially over recent years, and this has led to a good number of wine bars opening across the island in order to satisfy the demand from both tourists and locals alike. Here we take a trip to few and tell you a bit about each.
Strait Street, Valletta
Situated in an infamous narrow street once known as “The Gut” amongst British servicemen stationed on Malta, Trabuxu is a hidden gem in Valletta. Valletta used to be quiet at night, but increasingly, venues are opening and nightlife is returning to Malta’s capital.
As well as a good selection of local and foreign wines, some available by the glass, you can satisfy your appetite with one of the dishes on the menu, which changes regularly and focuses on local, fresh ingredients. The wine bar has vaulted ceilings and is very friendly and welcoming.
Old Bakery Street, Valletta
Situated towards the far end of Old Bakery Street is Omerta, a small wine bar and trattoria that’s oozing with character. There are one or two tables on the pavement for hot summer evenings, and winter, the interior is cosy and warm. The walls are adorned with an exhibition of ambient black and white photos by local photographer, Reuben Chircop and these really give the place a sense of history. The menu has an Italian influence and a particular highlight is the Maltese platter, with homemade bigilla, Maltese sausage cooked in wine, local goat’s cheese and sundried tomatoes. Wines are really well priced and available by the glass, half and full bottle.
St Domenic Street, Birgu
Siuated in the heart of Birgu, Malta’s one-time home of the Knights of St John prior to the construction of Valletta, Del Borgo is a mix of 21st century interior design and typically Maltese, traditional limestone and wood architecture. There is a wide selection of red, white and rose, some available by the glass, and the wine list has a useful description of each wine’s character. The food menu is a selection of Mediterranean specialities, bar snacks, platters and finger foods, and handily, the menu recommends wines to accompany each dish.
Main Street, Mellieha
In the north of Malta, there’s a new wine bar opened by local, well-established restaurateur Joseph Vella and his team. Launched in 2008, d-Vine is a small wine bar with a modern “lounge” interior, with effective lighting creating a sophisticated vibe. There’s an excellent selection of new-world wines and champagnes, as well as a range of beers and spirits that are set out along a wall creating a real statement. Food is Mediterranean with a twist, and ranges from bar snacks to gourmet platters and bistro-style favourites.
This is just a small selection of wine bars in Malta, and there are many more to be discovered.