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If sipping a glass of wine while noshing on plate of cheese and charcuterie is your thing, there are plenty of wine bars around Houston ready to serve.
One sure bet is The Tasting Room at Uptown Park, one of the busiest, most successful and happening wine bars in Houston. Most evenings, you’ll see the patio filled with the after work or pre-dinner crowd, mixing and mingling. The small chain includes other sister properties in Memorial City and River Oaks, but if the Uptown Park location is their flagship. In addition to an extensive wine by the glass option, you can purchase wines to take home and drink, and order from a chef-driven menu.
Moving up Post Oak Boulevard, you’ll find Phil’s Wine Lounge on the ground floor of Philippe Restaurant. There, sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd has assembled a fantastic by-the-glass wine list with 88 selections, including that beautiful Bordeaux from Pomerol, to a lightly fizzy Tchakolina from the Basque region in Spain. During happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., many of these glasses go for half off, and if you get hungry, you can order from Master Chef of France Philippe Schmit’s bar menu, or ascend the attractive staircase to have dinner in the main restaurant.
In the Upper Kirby area, situated inside upscale West Ave complex, you’ll find Cru Wine Bar, an intimate affair with flickering candlelights and a menu offering bottles, by the glass options, and pre-planned wine flights that’ll let you try three to five small pours. The backdrop is attractive, a place for groups, or couples, with daily drink specials and a menu that includes excellent pizzas and other light bites.
Down the street from Cru, Sonoma Wine Bar is more of a wind-down kind of place, low-key, with thick, plush couches. It’s the kind of neighborhood hangout where you can go for a casual drink with friends, and it’s always busy.
For a more intellectual menu offering, visit the hip 13 Celcius in Midtown, regarded by many in the industry as the best wine bar in town. Chefs and sommeliers hang out here often, and sommelier Adele Corrigan is generally always on hand to introduce you to that obscure, complex, off-the-beaten path wine you’d never heard of, but can fall in love with.
Finally, if dining on gourmet comfort food is your thing, Max’s Wine Dive is available with that fried chicken and champagne pairing, or some other mouthwatering dish to pair with whatever glass of wine hits your fancy.