Another wine spot to signal to Moscow expatriates and travellers is a wine bar named Grand Cru.
Grand Cru is located on Malya Bronnaya near the Pushkinskaya metro station, it opened 3 years ago and offers a very large selection of wines to local amateurs. This place has several visit cards : it is a wine bar (vinnyi bar), a wine shop (Vinoteka) and a restaurant. It’s full every evening and you better either come before the rush to have a glass, or reserve and call (there’s a counter too for a quick glass or to wait).
Grand Cru is foremost a small chain of wine shops selling quality wines in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. There are 7 such shops in Moscow and 2 in Saint Petersburg, but only two (one in each city) is also a wine bar. The Grand Cru project, which materialized in 2006, says Alexander Khatiashvili, was initiated by Simple Wine, a company dealing in import and distribution of fine wines in Russia. These two activities are the backbone of the company with clients all over Russia, the Grand-Cru shops (map of Moscow shops) being only some sort of top-tier retail chain where they wanted to sell the very best
On the price question, he says that they try here to be moderate, adding a mere 40% or 50% on the wholesale price when elsewhere it's often 3 or 4 times.
Grand Cru is also a restaurant, but you can just order a glass or have a bottle with friends. Many of the customers here are long-time clients who work or live in the area and appreciate good wines.
Grand Cru's mother company Simple Wine, the wine-distribution/import company, is managed by a young businessman named Maxim Kashirin. Simple Wine also launched a magazine named Simple Wine News. I got a copy of the september issue : nice, richly-illustrated glossy magazine with an interview of Michel Rolland, an article on Trimbach (cover page), an article about corks, Chefs interviews with recipes, Moscow restaurants tips, French wineries profiles, among others.
The Chef is a Spaniard named Ardian Ketglas but the funny thing with the two Grand Cru wine bars is that two siblings work in the kitchens, one in Moscow, the other in Saint Petersburg. Both of them, Ivan & Serguei Berezutskiy happened to be together in the Moscow venue when we walked in.
Here is an interesting interview of Maxim Kashirin who is one of the owners of Grand Cru and Simple Wine : he debates about the challenging wine-import laws and taxes in Russia. The page was founnd on Wine Report Russia, a website directed by Anton Moiseenko.
Spiridonievskii 10A, Moscow
phone +7 495 650 65 00
phone +7 495 650 650 0
Like Grand Cru : Metro Pushkinskaya
They have a Mari Vanna in N.Y. too.