Zur Traube | Hamburg’s Oldest Wine Bar
Treat yourself well also when you are in distress.
When you are dead there is nothing left of life.
Just do what you want, the people are talking nevertheless.
A little luck and a little wine with a little maiden.
O Lord, the life is fine!
Much of what is interesting about Hamburg seems to lay indoors rather than out, largely due to the weather perhaps. There are palatable selections of cafes, bars and restaurants in various styles and themes, but every now and then you happen upon somewhere that’s totally alluring.
The charming inscription above is carved into the ceiling beams of the Zur Traube Weinstube und Restaurant, located here in Hamburg and translated for me by their ever-lovely sommelier, Sandra.
From the very first moment I entered this wine bar, I was captivated and knew I would be visiting often. Stepping into Zur Traube you are hit with a potent dose of Germanesque nostalgia and uncommon old world charm. Established in the late 1800s as a wine room, the intriguing interior is a little nook of curiosities. As you sit in the cosy, creaky seating booths, your eyes are drawn along dark panelled walls to the carved figures depicting labourers in various occupations, from coopers to blacksmiths. The central ceiling light has carvings of various figures one of which is Bacchus the God of wine. Characterful and candlelit, the snug, otherworldly ambience and endless supply of wines help stave off Hamburg’s cold winter evenings.
When you eventually shift your gaze from the decor to the wine list, Zur Traube offers over 250 carefully curated German and global wines, and with around 50 bottles opened at any one time for tasting by the glass, every visit is a new tasting adventure.
Humorous scenes of drunken iniquity are intricately carved into the stairwell panels, which leads up to the restaurant. Added in the early 1900s, it has a more modern feel to its decor and offers a sumptuous, seasonal, bistro-style menu to tantalize your tastebuds further.
Gōnn dir was auch wenn du in Not bist
Was hast du vom Leben wenn du tot bist
Do wat du willt, de Lud snadit doch.
Ein bissen Schwein und ein bissen Wein, dazu ein kleines Māgdelein.
Herrgott, wie ist das Leben fein!
Open Mon-Sat from 19:00 – Sundays from 18:00