Joli's Just Might Be Your New Hutong Wine Haven
The atmosphere at Joli's is as refreshing as the glassfuls of crisp white wine served at the bar. Yes, while many of us might assume that wine bars are uppity and unapproachable, this humble new hutong venue has a relaxing yet fun and upbeat vibe.
The décor is mostly comprised of lush, foresty shades at Joli, save for the patterned tiles on the stairs that have a touch of Indian flavor. If you follow those steps you’ll reach an airy rooftop terrace with plenty of Instagramable hutong backdrops.
Downstairs at the bar, you can choose from a short list of very affordable by-the-glass choices like Chilean Calcu rosé, a floral choice with a gentle, spicy aftertaste, and white, which is hugely fruity and will quickly relieve you of summer heat; along with a 2009 Spanish Campo Burgo rioja, featuring high acidity and plenty of complexity, while still staying light on your palate. They’re all priced at RMB 50 per glass, while bottles range from RMB 270-455, featuring sauvignon blanc from both Chile and New Zealand, Chilean chardonnays, Italian pinot grigios, and more.
The brains behind this bar is Yo “Yolanda” Li, a Beijing native who opened the now defunct Yolanda’s Secret wine bar near Yashow back in 2015, before going on to open a highly successful jianbing food truck in New York City. Joli’s is poised for greater success than her previous wine bar, mainly because it has a more robust atmosphere and is situated in a quiet hutong rather than a booze-saturated Sanlitun side street. She’ll introduce a small food menu in the weeks to come, along with a greater stock of wine once Joli’s soft opening is well behind her.
For now, the bar has plenty of affordable bottle options, a mood that is relatively unique for the hutongs, not to mention staking claim to a prime spot in a relatively untapped neighborhood when it comes to bars and Western fare (compared to alleys closer to Gulou or Beixinqiao). Together, these elements are as well balanced as the wines she pours out, making Joli’s an excellent spot to raise a glass.
Joli's Wine Bar
4 Ya'er Hutong, Xicheng District
Photos courtesy of Joli's