We’re shining a spotlight on that vital venue for exploring the drink you love—the wine bar. Here’s our list of some of the best in America.
Asheville, NC | Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar
Rifle through stacks of used fiction and history tomes at this bookstore-cum-wine bar inside the Grove Arcade. Order a glass from its broad selection and settle in for a little evening reading.
Atlanta | Ziba’s Bistro
A cozy vibe with chalkboards that boast a well-edited wine list packed with Old and New World gems.
Austin, TX | Winebelly
From Sicilian Nero d’Avola to Texas Hill Country Tempranillo, the wine list at this mellow, antique-filled lair spans the globe and deserves to be explored.
Boston | Spoke Wine Bar
Felisha Foster puts the spotlight on Old World wines from small producers, and her list jibes perfectly with the scrumptious small-plate dishes at this Somerville hideout.
Chicago | Rootstock
Kick back on the patio at this Humboldt Park boîte, where its solid selection of Old and New World wines include numerous standouts from Greece and Slovenia.
Dallas | Veritas Wine Room
The wood décor and fireplace make this local favorite feel more like an Irish pub than a modern wine bar. No matter what you decide to drink from the 350 wine choices, don’t miss the Texas-made cheese and meat plates.
Denver | Caveau Wine Bar
A true wine explorer’s mecca, this romantic, unpretentious gem has nearly 50 by-the-glass wines that were picked to help gently push your palate out of its comfort zone.
Houston | Beckrew Wine House
Here, morning espresso makes way for lively evening wine sessions. Sink into an elegant white chair for one of its flights of non-Champagne bubbles. Bonus: Free gourmet pizza.
Kansas City, MO | Ça Va
Bubbles—be it the wine or the Champagne cocktails—are the raisons d’être of this popular bar. And keeping in kind with KC’s rich jazz tradition, it regularly hosts live sets from big names.
Los Angeles | Bar Covell
Wine Director Matthew Kaner thinks wine lists are often impersonal—which is why there aren’t any at this Los Feliz outpost. Instead, he or one of his staffers chats you up, then offers a selection based on your personal preferences.
Miami | Lagniappe
A refuge among the DJ clubs, this New Orleans-style hideaway has live music every night, a tea light-strewn yard and more than 150 wines from small-production wineries around the globe.
New York City | The Ten Bells
Need a “crush” course in natural or biodynamic wine? Settle down under the tin-tiled ceiling at this Lower East Side haunt for an education that is always delicious and never pretentious.
Pismo Beach, CA | Tastes of The Valleys
This well-stocked tasting room and wine shop sits just a few blocks from the beach and pours hundreds (seriously) of Central Coast wines by the glass. The vast selection and wine-smart staff are why the bar is a favorite among local winemakers and industry insiders.
Portland, ME | MJ’s Wine Bar
Take your favorite college-town coffeehouse, but replace the smell of patchouli with a fun wine list that reps far-flung lesser-known regions, like Hungary and the Canary Islands, and you’ve got this chill hangout.
Portland, OR | Southeast Wine Collective
Located in a winery co-op, the bar pours craft wines made by the resident winemakers, who can often be seen hard at work.
Richmond, VA | C’est le Vin
This art gallery/wine bar features live music, more than 200 bottles and a solid array of by-the-glass selections, with special attention paid to Virginia wines.
San Francisco | Fig & Thistle
Cop a spot on the bunk-bed couch and peruse the map-based menu that pinpoints where each of its many small-batch California wines was produced.
Scottsdale, AZ | Kazimierz World Wine Bar
Next door to downtown Scottsdale’s Cowboy Ciao, Peter Kasperski’s alluring stone-walled jazz lounge has a dizzying menu of 2,000 selections organized by price and wine style.
Seattle | Purple Cafe & Wine Bar
There are several Purple spots, but only the Seattle locale boasts a 5,000-bottle wine tower. It’s a mecca of Washington wine with fun flights.
Washington, D.C. | Dickson Wine Bar
This tiny U Street boîte is always crowded with power players, but its extensive list of organic wines—and rib-eye bánh mì—are worth braving the throng of bustling bureaucrats.