Erik Neilson on October 13, 2016 0 Comments It’s safe to say that more progress has been made in the way of making wine approachable in the past 20 years than ever before. Wine is no longer viewed as being the beverage of the elite, and the doors have opened up to a point where even those who never thought wine was for them are now able to find styles and varietals they enjoy without the pressure of trying to fit the part. Much of this shift can be attributed to the growing trend of wine bars opening throughout the country, which seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. While there are plenty of wine bars to choose from in every major city in America, some stand apart as being best in their class. Here are 9 of the best wine bars in the country, all of which are worth visiting if you find yourself in any of these locales. 1. Ambonnay (Portland, OR) Portland is certainly one of the hottest cities in the country when it comes to craft wine and beer production, and it makes perfect sense why it’s also host to one of the best wine bars in America. Ambonnay isn’t just any wine bar, however — this establishment focuses on Champagne and sparkling wine only. It may sound like a pretentious concept, but the air is light at Ambonnay, and so are the prices. Owner David Speer is a renowned sommelier, so you can be sure you’ll be steered in the right direction when taking one of Ambonnay’s 20 bar seats. If sparkling wine is your thing, Ambonnay is a veritable godsend. 2. Spoke Wine Bar (Boston, MA) It’s no secret that Boston is home to some of the finest dining destinations in America, but what about the city’s wine scene? Unsurprisingly, it’s quite strong, and Spoke Wine Bar is one of the leaders of the movement towards bringing great wine to Boston. Wines from the Old World take center stage at Spoke, a Summerville destination loved by visitors just as much for the wine as the menu’s delicate array of small plates. Owner Felisha Foster chooses wines from small producers, which frame one of Boston’s most impressive wine lists to date. 3. Barcelona Wine Bar (Atlanta, GA) There are few areas throughout the world where saddling up to a glass of wine is more enjoyable than Spain. Not only are Spanish wines fantastic, but the tapas (small plates) served alongside them help to elevate the wine to an entirely new level. If you can’t make it to Spain, Atlanta’s Barcelona Wine Bar may be your next best bet. As one might imagine, both the list and food have heavy Spanish leanings, which makes a trip to Barcelona Wine Bar a mini vacation in its own right. 4. 20 Brix (Milford, OH) Milford, OH may not exactly be what comes to mind when you think of wine hotspots, but 20 Brix is doing an excellent job of changing that. A wine bar, retail shop and restaurant, you can find over 300 wines at 20 Brix, many of which are available by the glass. It’s truly a wine lover’s paradise in an area that might easily go overlooked, which makes getting a table even easier than you might think. 5. Drifters Wife (Portland, ME) The restaurant scene in Portland, ME has been popularized by major media outlets for years, and one of the hottest new additions is Drifters Wife. A wine bar which focuses only on natural wines, Drifters Wife is like nowhere else in the city. Small and intimate, the space is ideal for sitting down to a small bite, perfectly paired with some of the most interesting wines being opened in the state of Maine. Want to bring a bottle home? Pop into the small shop in the back of the bar. 6. Veritas Wine Room (Dallas, TX) Walk into Veritas Wine Room in Dallas, TX, and the decor will most likely have you feeling as if you’ve stepped into an Irish pub. That is, until you take a moment to peruse the wine list. At Veritas, you’ll have your pick of over 350 wines to choose from, all of which pair perfectly with the meat and cheese boards the bar is known for. For comfort and selection, Veritas Wine Room is the bar to beat. 7. Bacchanal Wine (New Orleans, LA) There are few places in the country quite like Bacchanal Wine, let alone in Louisiana. Opened in 2002 by wine director Chris Rudge, this unique wine bar has garnered itself quite a bit of attention over the past few years especially, becoming a destination location in its own right. Pop in at night, and you’ll likely encounter at least 10 wines offered by the glass, which you can take outside to the casual backyard and relax. Or, visit Bacchanal’s wine shop, which boasts upwards to 400 different bottles. 8. The Four Horsemen (Brooklyn, NY) If you’re not from New York and you’ve heard of the Four Horseman, chances are it’s because of the person who opened it: James Murphy of the wildly popular band LCD Soundsystem. Murphy’s wine bar is sleek and clean, offering up some of the finest natural wines available. Sit at the bar for the best possible experience, and don’t hesitate to ask questions about what can often be a rather esoteric wine list. 9. Cork Wine Bar (Washington, DC) Washington, DC is home to some great places to sit down and have a glass of wine, but Cork Wine Bar takes the cake. The focus at Cork is on sustainable, Old World wineries and small producers, with detailed descriptions written out to help customers find that perfect glass or bottle. Offering around 40 wines by the glass, Cork is an excellent option for those who are looking to learn more about wines they might not be familiar with without having to buy an entire bottle. Plus, it’s so close to the Capital, there’s no reason not to pop into this trendy watering hole.