You can get a glass of wine almost anywhere, but these nine local spots—from West Chester to Covington—are staffed with experts who can help you pick the right glass or bottle.
The tranquil, romantic ambiance is key at this rustic upscale spot located right off Hyde Park Square. Whether you wine al fresco on the expansive courtyard out front or cozy up next to the fireplace inside, you’re guaranteed to enter total relaxation mode.
3435 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 321-9463, unwindhydepark.com
Marty’s Hops & Vines
The owner’s love for British pubs inspired this laid-back bar, where shelves of craft beer, fine wine, and related accessories border close clusters of tables and chairs. In addition to healthy pours and a diverse menu, enjoy daily specials like “Taco Wednesdays” and live music every Friday and Saturday night.
6110 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, (513) 681-4222, martys-hopsandvines.com
Need wine to get through the workday? This café—which also serves coffee, tea, beer, salads, and sandwiches—won’t judge you for ordering a glass before 5 p.m. Enjoy the Costal Vines chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon house pours for just $5. Ample seating and strong WiFi are added bonuses.
3018 Harrison Ave., Westwood, (513) 906-7743, facebook.com/musecafecincinnati
First, browse the bottles for sale opposite the first-floor bar. Then head downstairs to The Cellar—an uber-cozy (and romantic!) subterranean bar heated by an old incinerator-turned-fireplace—and indulge in organically grown wines made by small producers and charcuterie boards featuring cheese from The Rhined (its sister shop).
4011 Allston St., Oakley, (513) 914-5735, oakleywines.com
Next time you see a show at the Aronoff Center, stop into Corkopolis. The industrial space matches its urban setting and offers wines from New and Old World producers. Buy a bottle at state minimum pricing and enjoy it on-site for a $10 corkage fee, which is waived on Tuesdays.
640 Main St., downtown, (513) 381-3752, corkopolis.com
Crafts & Vines
This inviting family-owned MainStrasse spot takes “dog friendly” to a new level. The wall opposite the bar displays Polaroid photos of every canine customer that’s visited. If that doesn’t win you over, we’re sure a $10 wine flight of four two-ounce pours enjoyed on the intimate light-strung back patio will.
642 Main St., Covington, (859) 360-0476, craftsandvines.com
The Wise Owl
Don’t be fooled by its strip mall–like exterior. The friendly service at this casual joint is unparalleled, and the wine list features pours and 200-plus bottles from across the globe, from Argentina to Oregon to South Africa. Local musicians perform on Friday and Saturday nights.
6206 Muhlhauser Rd., West Chester, (513) 860-9463, wiseowlwinebar.com
Piccolo Wine Room
Located in the heart of Glendale, this intimate spot is as charming as the street on which it sits, thanks to its small but knowledgeable staff, weekly rotating dinner menu, front patio, and semi-private painted back room that depicts a European vineyard. It’s also connected to Village Wines (same owners), which offers roughly 1,500 bottles for sale.
23 Village Sq., Glendale, (513) 771-6612, piccolowineroom.com
Besides its classy small plates (filet mignon kebab! seared scallops!), this six-month-old bar’s showstopper is its sexy 33-bottle Cruvinet. It’s basically a fancy nitrogen-powered wine cooler that extracts wine without letting air in, which keeps each bottle fresh for three months. Not that a bottle here lasts that long…
4 W. Pike St., Covington, (859) 261-0004, ripplewinebar.com