Where to wine down

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Swirl, sniff and sip. Even if official vino etiquette isn’t your thing and you’ve never held a wine glass properly by the stem, knowing a great wine bar is always a good thing to have in your back pocket; there are no shortage of reasons to schedule some imbibing in a sultry environment or in a simple after work stop where reds, whites and rosés are the bulk of the menu.

You don’t have to be a sommelier to appreciate a special place with a buffet of enviable bottles. Everyone wants a room to indulge in conversation you can hear without straining your ear when you’re planning your next intimate meetup. You and your date can lift off with a flight of wines or stick to your preferred bottle for the entire evening at any one of these BARTable wine bars known to incite some serious oenophile envy.

Photo courtesy of 20 Spot.

20 Spot checks off its fair share on the hip list: It’s a former record store that was transformed into a wine bar on the ground floor of an old Victorian in the heart of the Mission. At the cozy locals’ favorite perched on the corner of 20th Street and Lexington, exposed brick and vintage lighting warm up an interior where a full menu of tasteful American cuisine complements the pours. 

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20 Spot

24th St. Mission (SF)

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Hosting wine alongside tapas and flatbreads to boot, Etcetera touts a welcoming combo of casual vibes without foregoing the elegance and ambiance you want from an intimate wine night out. It sits in the mix of Valencia’s buzzing happenings but upholds its own red-tinged world where rotating works by local artists dot the walls.

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Etcetera Wine Bar

16th St. Mission (SF)

Photo courtesy of Aquitaine.

This is the Gascony-inspired wine bar and bistro in downtown San Francisco to visit when you need a quick jaunt to France without the airfare. Sip fine wines with French bites as French music serenades your elegant international experience. Aquitaine’s downstairs lounge is adorable for hosting cozy private events amidst colorful sofas and wine barrel tables. 

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Aquitaine

Montgomery St. (SF)

Photo courtesy of Instagram.

The newer Barrel Room site has a rotating food menu just as revered as the carefully curated wine list and changing regional flights. The warm setting is all about dark woods and massive walls showcasing endless dark bottles. More than just a sit and sip, The Barrel Room houses three parts: retail shop, bar/restaurant and a speakeasy-style downstairs lounge.

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The Barrel Room

Embarcadero (SF)

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