Choosing a wine experience in San Francisco is a daunting task--not only is the city surrounded by some of the best wine regions in the country, but it boasts an impressive number of wine bars. Luckily, we’ve done the painful job of visiting these bars for you, and come up with our picks for the best wine bars in the city.
Best Neighborhood Bar: Bluxome Street Winery
Over 120 wineries used to ferment the good stuff in SoMa, and Bluxome Street Winery has now taken up the mantle. The space retains a 19th century flair, coupled with its intimate tables and barrel-stave walls. The wines all come from the Russian River Valley, ranging from chardonnay to pinot noir to syrah. The winery hosts regular events for locals such as “Dine-in-the-Drive” on Fridays, when a food truck provides treats paired with the wines, or the Meet Market, a market of local vendors and artisans held on the last Saturday of every month.
Best Bar for Novices: InnerFog
This Inner Sunset gem is perfect for people just starting to explore wine. The wine list includes wines from all over the world, and is helpfully divided into categories such as Soft Red, Powerful Red, Aromatic White, and Rich White. All wines are available by the glass so you can try several types, and the happy hour (M-F, 4-6pm) provides an even better chance to try wines at a discount. The welcoming, low-key atmosphere is just what you need to relax and discover the magic of wine.
Best Romantic Bar: Amelie Wine Bar
You get all the ambiance you could want at Amelie Wine Bar: soft lighting, candlelit booths, and a French flair. The wine list is France-focused, but includes options from all over the world, and the little French-style appetizers are the perfect size to share with someone you like like.
Best Bang for your Buck: Barrique
In a unique twist, Barrique offers wine by the glass directly from the barrel, cutting out the marketing fuss and extra costs associated with bottled wine. Sourcing from top producers in California, Barrique offers 5 ounce and 0.5 liter pours from the barrel at cheaper-than-normal prices, in addition to a well-priced by-the-glass and by-the-bottle menu. The ambiance is casual and laid back. Value-seekers, look no further.
Most Eclectic Wine List: Uva Enoteca
Uva Enoteca’s wine list is pure Italy: all over the place, fascinating, and delicious. The classic regions of Piedmont and Tuscany are well-represented, but the list dives deeper to showcase obscure varietals from little-known places. Lagrein from Alto Adige, garganega from the Veneto, aglianico from Campania, and primitivo from Puglia are just a few examples. The wines come in 2 ounce tastes or 8 ounce carafes, perfect for exploring several tastes on your own or sharing a few carafes with the table.
What are your favorite wine bars, SF? Tell us below.
Photo Credit: Urbanspoon