An unpretentious and well-priced wine warehouse hidden in Kreuzberg 61…
Despite taking up a healthy 350 square metres of an old brewery in the heart of Kreuzberg 61, you’re unlikely to come across Paasburg unless you’re heading specifically for it.
A mere thespian-lob from the excellent English Theatre Berlin on Fidicinstraße, this low-key Weinhandlung is tucked away in a trade area behind the street’s attractive Altbauten.
Inside lie a wealth of wines and spirits from over 600 producers, mostly from the key European regions – France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria—but a healthy selection from South Africa, Chile and Australia too.
It’s a voluminous space that carries itself well. Classical music, wooden beams and friendly, attentive service lend the space a kind of rustic elegance, and it’s easy to navigate, the main wines separated by country and marked clearly with large cardboard signs that dangle from the ceiling.
Two things stood out as I browsed the Germany racks. One was the considered selection—a mix of classics (Heymann-Löwenstein, Christmann, Kuhn, Weil) and new producers (Franzen, Johanninger, Hexamer) that we didn’t know at all. The second thing was the price, which ranges from six to ten euros per bottle, at least half of what you’ll pay for the same plonk in any restaurant, bar or smaller wine outlet.
Behind the central cashier, another section offers slightly more specialist and vintage wines. Here you’ll find Heymann-Löwenstein Röttgen and Speri Amarone di Valpolicella, as well as a heady range of liquors, digestifs and aperitifs.
On the right (as you enter) you’ll also find an assembly of wooden tables and chairs, where you can taste some of the wines – the vast majority are available to try – and which the owners use for organised tastings and wine-accompanied menus.
An added bonus is that the staff speak great English and two of them – both ladies – are trained sommeliers. They’ll happily guide you through the selections and give recommendations, and you’ll get equal service whether you’re buying a couple of bottles or twenty cases. You’ll likely walk away with at least a case at these prices, especially considering there’s a 10% discount when you buy twelve bottles.
Near the seating area you’ll also find an open display of soils, rocks, minerals from (mostly) German suppliers, so you can see the physical differences in the terroirs; a small kid’s play room in case you decided to bring the family, and a library of wine books (German only).
The vast downstairs cellars not only also store wines but also host special ‘colour tastings’ that employ various lighting techniques and specially made glasses to reduce the influence of colour on taste—apparently it confuses even the connoisseurs, who are used to letting colour guide their nose and palate.
If you’re not local to the area, you could do worse than spending a bit of time in the neighbourhood. Nearby Chamissoplatz has a playground for kids, a small organic market on Saturdays and lots of gorgeous buildings untouched by World War Two. If you’re here around lunchtime, tiny G wie Goulasch – corner of Arndtstraße and Nostitzstraße – sells hearty home-made goulash and soups (and some great Belgian beers).
A little further on is bustling Bergmannstraße, one of Kreuzberg 61’s main arteries. We’d recommend a stop off at Turkish & Oriental deli Knofi (No. eleven), where you can grab a tasty lunch or purchase some more exotic treats to enjoy later with your wine purchases.
For more information, visit the shop’s website.