Wine importer Arend-Jaap van der Lely shares his address book. This is just one of five Dutch entries in our wine writing competition. You can find links to all the other articles in this series in Writing competition 2019 – latest.
The Hague, seat of Dutch government and a city with sandy beaches, is a great city for wine lovers. It is very international. With over 150 embassies, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, Europol and Shell’s headquarters, English is spoken in every wine bar and restaurant.
Living and working as fine wine importer in The Hague, I am lucky enough to be in the heart of the wine scene. Below are what I think the best wine shops, wine bars and restaurants for those who enjoy wine as much as food.
The Hague has a number of indies that distinguish themselves from the national chains and stand out for their selection and service.
African Wines Palaceplein 13-14, Scheveningen. Set up by Zim Supersomm Pardon Taguzu (ex Aubergine in Cape Town and one of the Zimbabwean international blind tasting team). Unique, outstanding selection of South African wines.
Andre Kerstens Kazernestraat 112. Olaf Kerstens specialises in wines from Portugal and Spain. Superb section of fortified and spirits. Keen selection of French wines.
Bosman Frederik Hendriklaan 251. Focusses on bio wines.
Le Bouchon Valeriusstraat 51. Gerard and Erik Keizer have a strong focus on new world wines, especially from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
De Filosoof Papestraat 5. Very interesting offer of wines from Azerbaijan, Syria, Croatia, Georgia, Bulgaria and Lebanon. Also philosophical and literary gatherings, of course with wine.
Pavie (aka Haags Wijnhuis) Reinkenstraat 13. Has the biggest collection old vintages. Ripe and green together. Great place to snoop through their cases. They also buy.
Prins Prins Mauritslaan 48a. Old world wines, exclusive French gems and Italian boutique wines. High end tastings.
Solo Vino Palaceplein 13-14, Scheveningen. It’s all in the name: Italian wines only, in all price ranges.
Wijn op Dronk Balistraat 81B. My own venue, sharing the floor with my wife’s antique bookshop. Boutique wines, over 250 Pinots.
Of course, all national chains of wine retailers are present in The Hague. The following go for quality of wine and service:
De Gouden Ton Denneweg 81. This would not look out of places in London’s St James’s Street. Great selection.
Henri Bloem Weissenbruchstraat 294. Famous for its competitive en primeur offerings of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and great Italian wines. Also a wide range between €5 and 10.
Marius Jouw Wijnvriend Piet Heinstraat 93. Has a very good selection between €5 and 15. Good advice.
Bouzy Wine & Food Denneweg 83. Opened in 2015, and in 2016 Dutch wine bar of the year! The creation of sommeliers Martijn Verbruggen and Stefan Verleers. Outstanding list of grower champagnes, 20 wines by the glass. Where sommeliers drink. Very fair prices. Informal. The image above right shows their Champagne Madness event.
Pierre par CP Denneweg 11. Just re-opened, now liquid sister of high end restaurant Central Park in Voorburg. Awesome wine list, not only the big names, also garage wines and micro domaines.
Grapes & Olives Veenkade 1. With its terrace on a boat in the canal opposite, the place to enjoy Mediterranean wines, olives and other Mediterranean bites.
La Galleria Geverts Deynootplein 105, Scheveningen. Solo Vino’s wine bar within a stone’s throw of the beach. Classic Italian bites.
Waterproef Lelykade 25, Scheveningen. Where sommelier Pricilla van der Voort takes care of the best wine list in town, including Bordeaux Premier Crus dating back to 1907. International cuisine.
Calla's Laan van Roos en Doorn 51a. Michelin-starred and elegant in all respects; has its own vegetable garden. Seamless cooperation between chef Ronald van Roon and maître-sommelier Bianca Fellinger. Good selection of old and new world wines.
The Raffles Javastraat 63. The Hague is the city of the Dutch Indies. Maître Frank Deuning started his career in France. Refined Indonesian dishes, great selection of Rieslings!
Wox Lange Voorhout 51. French-Asian cuisine with local ingredients. Award-winning wine list, very good selection of open wines.
6&24 Nobelstraat 13. Chef Rik van de Laar and maître Saskia de Kuijer grew up at Michelin three-star restaurant De Librije, the best of Dutch cuisine. Very good wine list of food-friendly, elegant wines.
Central Park Oosteinde 14, Voorburg. Joey de Kruif is bringing this temple of food and wine back to the top. Awesome wine list, not only the big names, but also garages and micro domaines. Big brother of wine bar Pierre.
Lemongrass Lelykade 24, Scheveningen. 1,000 wines, very fair prices. Bistronomique.
The Hague is the base of the De Wijnstudio, the largest WSET wine school in The Netherlands. They offer WSET Level 1 and 2 in English and wine and food pairing courses.
Like Paris, The Hague has a city vineyard, De Haagse Stadswijngaard, planted with Johanniter, Rondo and Souvignier Gris, varieties tailored to clay at 52° N. You can help them in the vineyard.