This holiday season as you gather with loved ones, friends and co-workers, I wanted to recommend some of my favorite wine bars around the country.
In San Francisco:
The Wine Kitchen: Having opened this year on Divisadero street across from the famous NOPA restaurant, this is a great wine bar to cozy up to their large bar, eat, drink and be merry. The staff is great and the atmosphere is warm, inviting and relaxing. If you don't feel like waiting in line for a table at NOPA, cross the street and find a second home.
Terrior: Not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to not know any of the wines on their list! Which for a wine geek, like me, is awesome! I love learning about new small, natural wine producers. This is the place to do it! Outside food is welcome, including the frog legs from the Chez Spencer food truck usually parked across the street.
Etcetera: This Mission Wine Bar, is a great place to split a bottle with a friend after work. Expect to hear a lot of French being spoken here and don't skip the flatbread!
Hotel Biron: I almost don't want to share this one because it is such a little gem and perfect date spot. The space is small but cozy and always has interesting art to look at. Follow them on Facebook for daily deals you have to "ask for."
In New York:
Pierre Loti Midtown: This tiny wine bar has some of the nicest employees and owner of all time! I hosted a wine class here in November and it was a great experience. The cheese plates are also to die for! The upstairs area can hold a small group of 20 or so and I would recommend this place for a date or your next birthday party!
Zampa Wine Bar: A great Italian restaurant and wine bar that had me feeling like I was at home just hanging out with friends and making dinner. The food was comforting but
Tolani Wine Restaurnat: This may win award for "best wine bar of the year." The combination of music, wine, snacks and overall ambiance.
In Portland, Oregon:
Southpark Seafood & Wine Bar: I have only sat in the wine bar portion of the restaurant on a number of occasions. It is a great space for a family gathering. The food here is some of the best Portland has to offer and the wine list is outstanding. Not to mention the staff knows their wine so don't be afraid to ask lots of questions!
Taste on 23rd. Located on NW 23rd street at NW Johnson St, this small wine bar has got it all! Not to mention, the truffle popcorn is in the top 5 of all time.
No matter where you decide to meet up with family and friends this year, I hope it is a gathering full of great food, laughter, joy and some great food & wine of course. Got a favorite wine bar near you? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear about it!