A wine bar can be the perfect place for a solo meal, date night, business meeting, and plenty of occasions in between. And lucky for you, oenophiles, metro Phoenix is home to some top-notch spots to relax and sip a high-quality glass or two.
From wine bars outfitted with wood ovens to ones with high-tech wine dispensing systems, here are our picks for the 10 best wine bars in metro Phoenix.
Scapegoat Beer & Wine
Scapegoat Beer & Wine is an intimate spot where guests can enjoy some peace and quiet in the middle of the busy Old Town Scottsdale scene. Wine lovers will appreciate the concise menu that only features beer, wine, and small bites, while wine lovers will appreciate the variety. Expect glasses from all over the globe including options from New Mexico to New Zealand. Price are reasonable, too. During our recent visit, the most expensive glass of wine rang in at just $14. Best of all, you can pair your wine with fare from a menu curated by Crudo and Okra Chef Cullen Campbell. It's dominated by rich small plates such as a croque monsieur and briny, lemony house-made olives.
Nosh Eatery & Wine Bar
Nosh (formerly Betty's Nosh) provides an upscale but laid back setting in a strip mall in Glendale. There are two flat-panel screens above the bar so sports fans can get their fix while enjoying a drink, and the tables on the floor have wine-bottle-shaped candle holders for a nice, thematic touch. The light-filled main dining room features booths, stand-alone tables, an open kitchen, and a glass-enclosed private dining room. There are also some great deals to be had. On each day of the week, if you buy food, you can get an accompanying drink for just a penny. Signature food items include hearty mac and cheese, fish tacos, and burgers. In addition to wine, diners also can down margaritas, beer, or mixed drinks too.
Part wine bar and part retail shop, Central Wine is a modern, warm, and inviting spot that offers just a touch of whimsy. Look for a marble bar, a gray tiles, and bottles organized in a shelf on the back wall. Each diner or drinker will get a bowl of popcorn with his or her order, and guests can choose from a list of beer, sparkling, white, or red wines to pair with traditional charcuterie boards featuring meat and cheese. But this isn't exclusively a watering hole. The Central Wine menu also features espresso drinks for those who want a good cup of joe and a charming setting in which to enjoy it.
The Pig's Meow
Arcadia's The Pig's Meow takes the snob factor out of the wine-bar experience. This is a fun place, and the menu speaks to the spot's laid-back atmosphere. If you sit at a high-top table, you can play a vintage game console including Sega and Nintendo, and there's even a dedicated game room if you'd rather play arcade or board games like Duck Hunt or PacMan as you drink. Ask the staff to show you where to find the menu if you're having trouble finding it. Beer or wine options are listed on a handwritten chalk menu along one wall. Expect funky options like a sparkling blue Chardonnay Blanc de Bleu Cuvée Mousseux to match the playful vibe.
Terroir Wine Pub
What we love most about Terroir Wine Pub is the versatile setting. Drinkers can chat quietly in the private dining room, sit at one of the high-top tables, gather around the square-shaped bar to watch television, sink into the couch by the windows, or lounge around outside on the patio. The wine list features 30 rotating options, and though there's no happy hour, Terroir serves a list of $7 wines that exceed expectations based on price. We downed a great red Italian wine at the bar, where you can look forward to generous pours and friendly bartenders who are eager to chat with guests. Small bites rule the food menu. Pair your wine with a choice of artisan cheese, charcuterie, bruschetta, and chocolates.
Housed in a post office dating back to 1926, Vintage 95 gives mostly laid-back downtown Chandler a place to enjoy drink and a food in an upscale setting — think dark curtains hanging on the windows, wood tables, heavy silverware, cloth napkins, and plush leather chairs. The equally refined patio features twinkling white lights and a fire pit where guests can keep warm during the cooler months. The Vintage 95 wine list changes weekly, and at 23 pages, it gives guests plenty of options from which to choose. Down classic cocktails, choose from half and full wine bottles, whiskeys, or beer, and expect typical wine-bar fare including bruschetta, flatbreads, and small bites alongside entrees such as pork chops, short ribs, and a grilled flatiron steak.
With a half-dozen locations around metro Phoenix, Postino Wine Cafe has created a veritable wine-bar empire in the Valley. And even though each of the six Arizona locations has its charms, we're partial to the Tempe outpost. Maybe it's the spacious outdoor patio or the quirky decor, brick wall, and bookcases inside, but there's something about the Arizona State University-adjacent spot that makes us swoon. Expect to see students, colleagues enjoying after-work drinks, singles, and even families dining, and if you're sitting outside on the patio, you can watch students whiz by on bikes or skateboards on College Avenue. The star of the food menu here is the well-loved bruschetta boards. Order four varieties per board from a list of options that range from classics like mozzarella with tomato and basil to a seasonal offering that rotates regularly. Sandwiches, appetizers, soups, and salads round out the approachable menu. And the wine list features a good variety of Old and New World wines with a few options from Arizona and South American thrown in for good measure. Try to get here early if you can: Guests who arrive here between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. can snag single glasses of wine for just $5 every day.
Sorso Wine Room
What's Sorso Wine Room's most stand-out feature? Easily the 32-tap WineEmotion dispensing system. It works like this: load money onto a card, stick the card in the machine, and pick from three different sizes of wine pours. It might sound cheesy, but it's actually a pretty cool way to try a few sips of wine without having to risk shelling out for a whole glass that you end up disliking. The wine bar's expansive list (the restaurant claims to stock 150 bottles) has a strong focus on Old World wines, but also has a bunch of California wines and a few Arizona wines to make for a solid mix. The Scottsdale Quarter restaurant features an al fresco patio and an industrial-chic indoor dining room decked out with metal chairs, a sleek bar, and distressed wooden tables. The food menu features mostly small plates like bruschetta, salads, and sandwiches.
5th and Wine
For a relatively dark bar, 5th and Wine manages to feel both warm and comfy. The plush red chairs, dark wooden bar, and fine art-looking paintings hanging on the walls all make for a relaxed, yet upscale setting. But our favorite part of this spot is its outdoor patio. Located out back, the shaded interior courtyard manages to feel private and secluded despite being in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Curl up on the couch with your sweetie, grab a table with a large group, or snag a seat to listen to live music. The wine list here is just one page, but it rotates frequently to keep things interesting. On a recent visit, our server recommended a slightly sweet California-made Angels and Cowboys Rosé, but also warned us not to expect much merlot on the menu. According to the server, the owners aren't crazy about it. The menu mostly features hearty dishes like burgers, meatballs, chicken wings, and even warm brie to pair with your vino.
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Timo Wine Bar
Timo is a true gem in the Sunnyslope neighborhood. It shares a parking lot with an office building, but don't let the drab surroundings prevent you from checking it out. You'll feel instantly welcome from the second you step onto the the enclosed outdoor patio. Head inside and you'll find garage door windows (this place was a fire house, at one time) and a mostly gray palette of chairs and tables. It makes for a romantic setting that's inviting to not only couples, but also to singles, colleagues, larger groups, and even dog owners, provided they sit outside. The highlight in the kitchen is the wood oven. If you sit at the bar, you'll have a great view of the action as the cook slides sandwiches, chicken wings, and pizzas inside. And the prices aren't bad either. Most single glasses of wine ring it at $14 or less. Expect a variety of reds, whites, and sparkling wines in addition to a long list of craft beers. Diners can get especially good deals during happy hour, which is from 3 to 6 p.m. During that time, diners can snag $5 and $7 glasses of wine or even try a whole pitcher of this spot's signature sangria for $22.