While it may never eclipse its unequaled java-bean scene, the Emerald City’s vino culture is having a major moment. No longer do natives (and visitors) have to drive hours through treacherous mountain passes to sample the varietals grown in Walla Walla, Yakima and Columbia valleys. Instead, the state’s tastiest offerings are poured in the Capitol Hill and South of Downtown (SoDo) neighborhoods. Here’s where you can sip the best Washington has to offer in style.
The bar’s centerpiece is its two and a half-story-tall wine column (above) that holds 5,000 bottles, half of which are local. Be sure to sample a few of the 17 themed flights, like the Heavyweights, a New World “battle” between white wines from the Columbia Valley and South Australia.
After picking over the Chukar cherries and gawking at the tilapia tossers at Pike Place Market, stroll a few steps to one of Seattle’s best-kept secrets. Take a load off either inside or alfresco, and sample seven celebrated, owner-operated Washington State wineries, including Camaraderie Cellars and Latitude 46° N.
Located in Melrose Market, Capitol Hill’s trendy bazaar of artisanal food kiosks, this cozy, 20-seat gem pairs local wines (and local Rainier beer) with no-frills gourmet dishes whipped up from the market’s locally sourced offerings like oysters, cheeses and charcuterie.
Located in a former warehouse in SoDo, this loft-meets-hunting lodge spot with exposed ceilings, oversized wooden doors and comfy couches that face a warm fireplace, offers pours from a dozen state wineries including McCrea Cellars. Be sure to save room for the chocolate salted-caramel truffles served with Treveri Cellars’s Sparkling Syrah.