Special Report

The Best Wine Bars in America

Courtesy of La Bouche - wine bar via Facebook

There’s a time and a place for dive and sports bars, with their loud music or blaring soccer games, cheap beer, and fried food. But every so often one may desire a quieter night out to enjoy some alone time with a book and a nice cabernet, or to converse with a date without yelling over a ruckus. (For a well-balanced cocktail, head to one of the best bars in America right now.)

If a tranquil evening and quality provisions are what you crave, a wine bar may be a suitable destination. With their expert sommeliers, enticing vintages by the glass and bottle, and delectable cheese and charcuterie trays (and often more serious fare), these service-oriented establishments can provide a top-notch tasting experience.

To determine the best wine bars in America, 24/7 Tempo exercised editorial discretion after reviewing information from a variety of sources including Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Gayot, Tasting Table, Eater, Time Out,  and the Sommeliers Choice Awards, as well as numerous local and regional sites and reviews by Google and Yelp users. Bars are listed in alphabetical order, not ranked.

Click here to see the best wine bars in America

While a few of these wine bars serve only drinks, most also serve at least small plates of various kinds, and some are full-service restaurants that are known for their elegant dinner fare. Many offer tasting flights and/or classes and across the board these bars aim to educate and help their guests find a wine they will love.

Some double as wine and specialty food shops, and many offer weekly tasting sessions, wine classes, or monthly wine clubs. A few wineries are on the list, offering up their own vintages. Most serve a wide selection of wines from around the world, while some specialize in organic or natural wines (made without preservatives), and a few in California aim to highlight wines made in their region. (Find out which California wine was named one of the world’s 50 best wines this year.)

Source: Courtesy of 13 Celsius via Facebook

13 Celsius
> Location: Houston

A laid-back lounge that serves unique wines accompanied by savory snacks, charcuterie, and espresso, 13 Celsius offers a featured selection of wines by women winemakers as well as a curated array of wines by the bottle, glass, half glass, or even just a taste. The tabletop s’mores for dessert are a must.

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Source: Courtesy of a.bar via Facebook

a.bar
> Location: Philadelphia

This Rittenhouse Square bar is a companion to a.kitchen, an adjacent new American restaurant. Less formal than the restaurant, a.bar offers craft cocktails, organic and natural wines, and shareable small plates like oysters, pork rillettes, and ricotta tartine as well as substantial entrées.

Source: Courtesy of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar via Facebook

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
> Location: New York City

From the master sommelier behind Midtown’s three-star French restaurant Le Bernardin, this chic lounge, across the courtyard from the restaurant, showcases world-class wines and French cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. The knowledgeable servers take great care in helping customers select wines they’ll love from over 40 by-the-glass and 200 by-the-bottle options.

Source: Courtesy of Amelie via Yelp

Amelie
> Location: San Francisco

From French restaurateurs Germain Michel and Samie Didda comes an award-winning wine bar on San Francisco’s lively Polk Street. Amelie (with two siblings in New York City and a café in Marin County), serves over 100 wines along with French cheese and charcuterie, enticing small plates, and full entrees in a classy environment with occasional live music.

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Source: Courtesy of Bar Covell via Facebook

Bar Covell
> Location: Los Angeles

Beneath the boutique Hotel Covell, this renowned bar is known for its warm ambiance, friendly service, and stellar beer and wine selection. Rather than selecting from their list of over 150 rare wines, tell the server what you’re in the mood for and they’ll pick for you (and ace it). Perfect for a date night or small gathering, Covell serves savory snacks and a mean bread pudding.

Source: Courtesy of Barcelona Wine Bar via Facebook

Barcelona Wine Bar
> Location: Atlanta

With two locations in Atlanta and over a dozen in other states, Barcelona Wine Bar is a destination for tapas and wines from Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, and more. The sangria, house cocktails, paella, serrano ham, and endless varieties of delectable small plates are sure to please the palate.

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Source: Courtesy of C'est le Vin via Facebook

C’est le Vin
> Location: Richmond, Virginia

This elegant art and wine gallery in Richmond’s waterfront Shockoe Bottom district features live jazz, sophisticated fare, and over 200 wines from around the world. C’est le Vin is known for their impeccable service and is the perfect place to host a private event or indulge in Spanish-style tapas for a date or anniversary dinner.

Source: Courtesy of Carpe Diem Restaurant & Bar via Yelp

Carpe Diem
> Location: Napa, California

This gorgeous upscale restaurant in downtown Napa specializes in farm to table fare, local and world wines, and handcrafted cocktails. From earthy wild mushroom flatbreads, to sweet chili calamari, to racks of Frenched lamb, the cuisine pairs well with a variety of wines and the popular happy hour menu offers $7 glasses.

Source: Courtesy of La Bouche - wine bar via Facebook

La Bouche
> Location: Denver

A new wine bar in Denver, La Bouche opened in September 2021 after its owners relocated from France. The menu is organized not by wine color, but by grape variety, with at least one French and one American option available for each so that customers can decipher the effects of bioregion on the flavor of the grapes. The French fare, superb service, and Sunday Brunch have quickly built a dedicated clientele.

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Source: Courtesy of Coopers Hall via Facebook

Coopers Hall
> Location: Portland, Oregon

An urban winery in a converted auto-body shop, Coopers Hall is a large event venue and taproom with high ceilings, industrial chic surrounds, local fare, and 36 wines on tap. Featuring their own wines as well as varieties from 15 other Oregon and Washington wineries, their focus is on sustainability and proving that quality wine doesn’t have to age in a disposable bottle.

Source: Courtesy of Alanna B. via Yelp

Corkbuzz
> Location: New York City, New York

With locations in Chelsea Market and Union Square, Corkbuzz features rare and unusual vintages paired with charcuterie and small plates in an intimate setting. Wine lovers have fun with the flight options, including the “sommelier’s mixtape,” and regional flights highlighting wines from South Africa, the Finger Lakes, and the nation of Georgia.

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Source: Courtesy of 5 Walnut Wine Bar via Facebook

5 Walnut Wine Bar
> Location: Asheville, North Carolina

5 Walnut Wine Bar is a casual destination for local music, stand-up comedy, and unique wines, as well as farm-fresh food and local craft brews. Southern charm and friendly service abound and the cheese and charcuterie board is generous and affordable.

Source: Courtesy of Dedalus Wine Shop, Market, & Wine Bar via Facebook

Dedalus
> Location: Burlington and Stowe, Vermont

Dedalus Burlington combines a specialty market and wine shop with an indulgent wine bar featuring affordable by-the-glass pours as well as wines by the bottle and locally sourced fare in generous portions. The new Stowe outpost features a market and viennoiserie as well as a seasonal menu of wood-fired cuisine.

Source: Courtesy of Flight Wine Bar via Yelp

Flight Wine Bar
> Location: Washington, D.C.

Highlighting small estate vineyards as well as lesser known varietals and regions, this bar and restaurant offers over 750 wines, with 22 enticing flights combining various wines around a theme and over 35 wines by the glass. Their dinner menu of small and large plates utilizes seasonal local ingredients and features entrées including fried chicken, hanger steak, and seared scallops.

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Source: Courtesy of Five Vines Wine Bar via Yelp

Five Vines Wine Bar
> Location: San Juan Capistrano, California

A cozy wine bar featuring boutique wines, Five Vines offers tasting flights, a full lunch menu, flatbreads, and family style plates for sharing. This community hub has a wine club, a craft beer club, and a book club, as well as live music on the weekends and special prix fixe dinner and wine pairing nights.

Source: Courtesy of Golden Age Wine via Facebook

Golden Age Wine
> Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Golden Age is a wine shop and bar with over 700 choices in a wide range of prices, and a patient, knowledgeable staff that can help you find something you’ll love. Come with friends and enjoy a selection of snacks and charcuterie along with your glass or bottle. You can select wine from the rotating menu or buy any bottle at retail value in the shop and enjoy it in-house for a $20 corkage fee.

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Source: Courtesy of High Street Wine Company via Yelp

High Street Wine Co.
> Location: San Antonio, Texas

With cozy indoor seating and patio seating in the hip Pearl district, High Street Wine Co. is a hospitality-driven bar where guests can relax, drink, and snack on flatbreads, chocolate, and build-your-own cheese and charcuterie boards. The extensive wine list features small production vineyards from all the best winemaking regions in the world.

Source: Courtesy of Wilson L. via Yelp

June
> Location: Brooklyn, New York

This intimate date-night spot in Cobble Hill features a beautiful heated patio and rustic indoor seating. The extensive bottle list presents a wide array of natural European wines, and the small food menu offers flavorful shared plates and a few select entrees that will not disappoint.

Source: Courtesy of Kazimierz World Wine Bar via Facebook (1)

Kazimierz World Wine Bar
> Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Kazimierz is a dimly lit, classy Old Town destination for live music, whiskey, cocktails, and exclusive wines. Enjoy jazz, Latin, Americana, blues, and more while exploring Old and New World vintages. The bartenders are attentive, and the kitchen is being revamped for full New American style dinner service.

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Source: Courtesy of Alina Z. via Yelp

Lagniappe
> Location: Miami

This vibrant self-service New Orleans-style wine bar has live music every night, tons of outdoor seating, epic charcuterie platters, and a wide range of wines to enjoy by the bottle. With a loungey vibe, shabby-chic furniture, and stray cats to pet, Lagniappe is about as unpretentious as a wine bar can be.

Source: Courtesy of LaLou via Yelp

LaLou
> Location: Brooklyn, New York

This sleek, minimalist bar promotes small biodynamic and natural wine producers, with an eclectic selection from Eastern Europe and more. Several food menus offer lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner, featuring elegant ingredient-driven fare, and a popular oyster happy hour runs from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

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Source: Courtesy of Kristen E. via Yelp

Le Caviste
> Location: Seattle

This quaint bistro features a selection of French wines and apéritifs, with plenty of organic and sustainable options, as well as French cheeses, charcuterie, fresh crusty breads, and plates of the day such as steak tartare and poisson en papillote (fish baked in parchment). Customers consistently remark on the outstanding food and service.

Source: Courtesy of Left Bank via Facebook

Left Bank
> Location: Seattle

A charming little South Park wine store and bar, Left Bank offers a daily rotating selection of natural wines by the glass, and will also serve any bottle from the shop’s shelves for a $10 corkage fee. Retail wines are extremely affordable, and usually run between $10 and $25 a bottle. Bring your own food or order from a nearby food truck.

Source: Courtesy of Mckenna K. via Yelp

Lucian Books & Wine
> Location: Atlanta

From the inspiring book selection to the luxurious cuisine to the extensive wine list, Lucian Books and Wine offers a sumptuous experience for a lunch or dinner date. Customers rave about the oysters with strawberry mignonette, the crispy polenta with black truffle and parmesan, and the roast duck with romesco, maitake mushrooms, and red wine sauce.

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Source: Courtesy of MotorCity Wine via Facebook

MotorCity Wine
> Location: Detroit

A small but lively venue for jazz and soulful house music, MotorCity Wine frequently features DJs and a dancing crowd of music lovers. Along with a great rotating wine selection and charcuterie, there are pop-up food vendors on Sundays, offering Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Filipino, and other world fare.

Source: Courtesy of Noble Riot Wine Bar via Yelp

Noble Riot
> Location: Denver

Offering much more than an eclectic wine list and hearty bar fare, Noble Riot strives to educate even the novice wine drinker with classes and educational flight sessions. The servers can bring you something you’ll love with even the slightest direction, and the quarterly Somm’s Table dinner pairing events feature food menus built around a wine selection, rather than the other way around.

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Source: Courtesy of Ordinaire via Facebook

Ordinaire
> Location: Oakland, California

Ordinaire wine shop and bar has a wide selection of Old World natural and California organic wines. The cozy bar with outdoor seating is a great place for a lunch date and serves cheese boards and by-the-glass pours as well as bottles from the shelves with a corkage fee.

Source: Courtesy of Patrick V. via Yelp

Patrick’s Bar Vin
> Location: New Orleans

An elegant French Quarter bar with vintage decor and courtyard seating, Patrick’s Bar Vin is a refuge from the madness of Bourbon Street. The owner and bartenders are friendly and professional and the tasteful small plates perfectly complement the stellar wine list.

Source: Courtesy of Tara A. via Yelp

Press Club
> Location: San Francisco

This subterranean wine bar and lounge features rare varietals, biodynamic and organic California wines, and beer in a large, sleek venue that caters to private parties and events. Tempting small plates like oak-smoke cauliflower with romesco, and pork belly adobo steamed buns are served alongside cheese plates with fig jam, almonds, and warm baguette.

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Region
> Location: Sebastopol, California

Region’s mission is to provide a showcase for rare wines from local independent vineyards so that customers can come to learn the unique terroir of the Sonoma and San Luis Obispo regions. An attentive staff combined with an innovative self-service style of wine tasting allow for a catered experience depending on the amount of interaction you’d like.

Source: Courtesy of Eliza S. via Yelp

Rootstock
> Location: Chicago

Rootstock wine and beer lounge is a laid-back hangout with hearty gastropub fare and a selection of by-the-glass and by-the-bottle wines as well as fortified wines. Come hungry and order oysters and a burger, or dine on a plate of scallops with chanterelles, or roasted pork collar with farro and delicata.

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Source: Courtesy of Spoke Wine Bar via Facebook (1)

Spoke Wine Bar
> Location: Somerville, Massachusetts

This Davis Square restaurant offers seasonal New American fare along with craft cocktails and an extensive list of Old World wines in an intimate setting. The servers will help you select the best food and wine pairings for your tastes, and the vegetarian dishes are outstanding.

Source: Courtesy of Tastes of the Valleys Wine Bar via Facebook

Tastes of the Valleys
> Location: Pismo Beach, California

This laid-back wine shop with a tasting room has over 1,000 wines in stock and highlights wineries of the Central Coast as well as Napa, Sonoma, and European wines. Customized tastings are their specialty, and the exuberant staff are eager to share their knowledge with customers.

Source: Courtesy of The Blind Monk via Facebook

The Blind Monk
> Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

With a market, tapas restaurant, brunch, occasional live music, and a happy hour, the Blind Monk is a local destination for a high-end experience at an affordable price. Customers love the shakshuka, twice-cooked eggplant, and yucca gnocchi, and the amazing service – and of course the choice of 25-plus familiar and unfamiliar wines by the glass and 75 or so by the bottle.

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Source: Courtesy of Alana K. via Yelp

The Ten Bells
> Location: New York City

This Lower East Side wine and tapas bar boasts a daily happy hour with $1 oysters, as well as an extensive wine list of natural European wines including rare wines from small producers. The tapas plates are crafted to enhance the drinking experience rather than overshadow it, and although it gets busy, the staff never misses a beat.

Source: Courtesy of Haley F. via Yelp

Times Ten Cellar
> Location: Dallas

This stylish winery works with California and Texas vineyards to source and create unique wines. With a tasting room, lounge, and patio, Times Ten offers many ways to enjoy their small batch wines. Guests love the live jazz on Sunday afternoons, as well as the flatbreads and Mediterranean small plates.

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Source: Courtesy of Rina D. via Yelp

Tria
> Location: Philadelphia

Tria has two Center City locations, both offering a casual vibe with a seasonally curated wine selection plus beer, cheese, cocktails, and affordable but filling small plates. Because the wine list is constantly evolving, it is kept small and doesn’t overwhelm. Do save room for a tasteful, and not overly sweet dessert.

Source: Courtesy of Sarah S. via Yelp

Valley Bar + Bottle
> Location: Sonoma, California

A rustic-chic eatery and wine shop with a covered dining terrace, Valley offers local Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and natural wines. Stop in early for coffee and pastries or enjoy a leisurely lunch, a festive brunch, or an intimate dinner with plenty of French and California wines to choose from.

Source: Courtesy of Eric W. via Yelp

Veritas Wine Room
> Location: Dallas

The romantic atmosphere and top notch wine selection at Veritas are perfectly matched to the friendly, knowledgeable service team that will make your visit memorable. Choose from an enticing selection of cheese and charcuterie boards or build your own, and enjoy a few artisanal chocolates while you sip.

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Source: Courtesy of Richie D. via Yelp

Villa Wine Bar & Kitchen
> Location: Santa Barbara, California

This lively and social wine bar hosts music and comedy, as well as an occasional sushi pop-up on select Tuesdays. They have craft beers on tap, local wines by the glass, and a rotating list of wines sourced from around the world, as well as paninis, flatbreads, and tapas-style snacks.

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