A good wine bar welcomes all customers, from oenophiles in search of new releases to add to their cellars to others who can't tell the difference between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc. (HINT: The first is red, the second, white.) Some offer well-paired food, others a chance to meet and mingle with other grape fans, while a few house high-tech vending machines that dole out pours instead of snacks. At these top 10 wine bars across the country, you are sure to find a good selection of wines as well as knowledgeable, helpful staff.
New York, NY 10023
“Wine-stain” art lines the walls of Daniel Boulud’s chic Bar Boulud in New York. The list of nearly 1,000 selections focuses strongly on the Burgundy and Rhône regions and the pleasantly peasanty menu honors the rustic, earthy fare of the chef’s Lyon roots, featuring options like charcuterie and escargots persillade.
Bin 26 Enoteca
26 Charles St.
Boston’s Bin 26 Enoteca features an international wine list, including more than 70 by the glass and 200 by the bottle. Order a big glass of Cabernet and pair it with a create-your-own cheese sampling or try an unusual varietal with some not-so-traditional finds like zucchini carpaccio and saffron risotto balls.
3847 Main St.
Culver City, CA 90232
The wine offerings at the Culver City wine bar and shop BottleRock highlight interesting, eclectic selections from appellations around the globe. The menu presents shareable plates such as smoked salmon mousse crostini and an upscale grilled cheese sandwich made with house made truffle butter.
3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Chef Scott Conant's D.O.C.G. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas takes its name from the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (denomination of controlled and guaranteed origin), the top classification for Italian wines. The name fits, for the restaurant shares the voluminous 3,000-bottle wine cellar of its sister restaurant Scarpetta next door, stocked with more than 500 selections.
d’Vine Wine Bar & Shop
5486 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30338
The main draw at d'Vine Wine Bar & Shop is the inventory of 500 wine choices, some 60 of which are offered by the glass. This Atlanta spot is also a good source for beers and top-drawer Kosher wines.
OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar
2272 Michelson Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612
Entrepreneur Julie Lim took an aging liquor store in Southern California and completely transformed it into OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar, Orange County’s first enomatic wine bar. Patrons buy a card at the counter, choose the wines they wish to taste, then insert the card into the enomatic machines which dispense one-ounce tastes.
Patrick’s Bar Vin
730 Bienville St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Noted New Orleans oenophile Patrick Van Hoorebeek opened his own wine bar after years of experience as a sommelier and manager of some of the city’s finest dining rooms. At Patrick's Bar Vin, he wisely keeps his selections distinctive, and complements them with cheese and charcuterie plates. The room is as elegant as its host, and the vibe is strictly upscale.
Pops for Champagne
601 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
There’s a definite buzz going on at Pops for Champagne in Chicago, and not only because of all the sparkling wine being served. If you don’t know your cava from your Prosecco, the well-trained staff will help you through the 150 or so different sparkling varieties by the bottle and seven by the glass. This hot-spot combines a Champagne lounge with a downstairs lounge and retail wine shop specializing in --- you guessed it --- bubbles.
20 Yerba Buena Ln.
San Francisco, CA 94103
At Press Club in San Francisco, you’ll find creative and extensive wine selections that favor California. A dozen wine flights offer variety from bubbles to Port, and a selection of beer flights offers local and hard-to-find brews on tap. Comestibles range from snacks and small plates to multi-course tasting menus that are built to align with specific wine or beer pairings.
Veritas Wine Room
2323 N. Henderson Ave. Ste. 103
Dallas, TX 75206
You can find some of the best Texas cheeses, meats and chocolates at Veritas Wine Room in Dallas --- that’s in addition to the thirty or so wines by the glass, not to mention the dozens (and dozens) of bottlings. The cozy atmosphere makes it a prime date spot or a hangout for friends; if one of your entourage prefers beer, there’s a selection of craft brews as well.
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