Cork Wine and Tapas Bar
Cork offers a truly unique experience. The building once served as a nautical equipment warehouse and now houses an open, spacious dining room. The wine bar offers an array of French, Spanish and Italian sparkling wines by the glass. Stop by on a Tuesday night for Flight Night and sample three carefully selected half glasses to complement your tapas. If tapas aren’t your thing, try the ahi tuna, clam chowder or any of the other Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
Piattini Wine Cafe
Head to Newbury Street to try the Castello d’Albola Chianti classico or one of 26 other wines by the glass. Looking to learn a little about vino? Owner Josephine Oliviero Megwa hosts the Wine Education Program, teaching guests about every that Piattini serves by the glass. You’ll learn about each varietal’s distinct flavor, scent and terroir. Don’t leave without exploring the unique flavors of the montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which was crafted specifically for this wine bar by a small Italian winery.
Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro
Tastings has one of the most extensive wine lists in town, with more than 250 different bottles and 70 available by the glass. In fact, this establishment won an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator in 2012. Mixing wines from California, France and Italy with contemporary American fare, wine director Scott Pinocci and chef Ben Lacy work together to provide you with combinations that will make your taste buds reach out for more. Owner Bill Martin recommends his favorite drink, the Joseph Carr cabernet sauvignon.
Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen
Savor the flavors of more than 45 different white, red and sparkling wines at this Ritz-Carlton bar. You can order your drinks by the bottle, full glass, half glass or two-ounce sip. The sip is especially ideal for the wine enthusiast who doesn’t want to break the bank. Feel like splurging? Select from the Intense Wine List, which was hand-selected to include high-end wines like the specialty Napa cabernet sauvignon, the Caymus. Pair your drink with an appetizer like the spicy tuna tempura roll or fondue, or enjoy a feat at the raw bar.
Cava Tapas and Wine Bar
Cava is popular with the locals for its top-notch tapas, but the wine bar has a life of its own as well. It offers a rotating 60-wine selection, and you can order by the half glass or the full glass. Only a handful of dining places in America can get their hands on the limited-production Kosta Browne pinot noir, and Cava is one of them. You may also enjoy the Scagliola Sansì barbera d’Asti, owner John Akar’s personal favorite.
Belly Wine Bar
The owners of local hotspots Central Bottle and Blue Room put their efforts and expertise together to create Belly Wine Bar. The Italian-inspired watering hole is a cozy retreat that was used as a mill in the 19th century. The chestnut interior and marble bar gives the place an enchanting Italian bistro feel perfect for a romantic night out. The French and Italian-inspired wine menu offers bubbly whites and deep reds, but don’t be afraid to try an orange wine - it’s made from oranges fermented in the same manner as a red. Hungry? Belly has an expansive selection of cheeses to accompany your drink.
The Butcher Shop
This intimate, South End locale has more than 75 bottles for the grape lover. Try the exclusive Heinrich Red Cat, which was made specially for The Butcher Shop. The restaurant gets its name for the massive wooden butcher’s block that holds samples of cured ham, pate, salamis and forcemeats. Stop by on a Sunday night for the salami and wine pairing.
Explore the depths of Troquet’s wine cellar, which holds hard-to-find bottles like the Domaine Coche-Dury white Burgundies and the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. The wine list is the brainchild of owner Chris Campbell and offers nearly 50 different varietals by the glass.
Take a quiet evening stroll down South Street and sit down at the French bistro-style Les Zygomates. Try a cocktail or beer from the full bar, but don’t skip over the expansive wine list. This is the only place in Boston to get the rose brut Champagne by Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée and the only bar in the nation to offer Domaine de Chevalier wines. Bring that special someone on an evening during Tuesday through Saturday, when live jazz serenades you while you sip your vino.