Best Bites: At This Chandler Wine Bar, A Cocktail Steals the Spotlight

The Spice Trade (left) and Leaving Heaven cocktails at Blacksheep Wine Bar.
The Spice Trade (left) and Leaving Heaven cocktails at Blacksheep Wine Bar. Tirion Morris
Welcome to Best Bites, a series where we celebrate not a whole restaurant or menu but instead one specific and amazing dish or drink. These bites and sips have something to say, and we are listening. Keep reading for dishes that seriously are worth the trek across metro Phoenix to find. Dig in!

When visiting a wine bar in downtown Chandler, ending up with a cocktail wasn't part of the plan. Ordering one that tasted just like dessert was an even more unexpected twist. But it was a happy accident nonetheless.

Blacksheep Wine Bar & Merchant opened on the northwest corner of San Marcos Place and Boston Street in 2021. It's a trendy space complete with dark leather bar stools, white-washed brick walls, monochromatic artwork, and rows of golden-hued Edison lightbulbs that cast a warm glow over the bar.

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Oversize Edison bulbs cast a warm glow over the monochromatic bar at Blacksheep Wine Bar.
Tirion Morris
While this concept and its modern decor are new, the historic space is no stranger to serving alcohol. According to the bar's website, the building housed a men-only hotel bar in 1921, a century before Blacksheep opened its doors. The new bar is named after a group of women who visited the bar and refused to leave, opting instead to continue drinking.

"Blacksheep is a nod to the rebels, to the troublemakers, to those not fond of the rules," the website says.

This spot embodies that motto. Situated in the heart of historic Chandler, with its gentle, small-town feel, this bar has an edge. Servers don sharp all-black outfits. The music plays louder and the crowd skews younger than at many of the restaurants nearby.

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The lounge area at Blacksheep Wine Bar in downtown Chandler.
Tirion Morris
Even the cocktails hint at rebelliousness. One such rule-breaker is the Leaving Heaven cocktail. The drink's description on the menu, with tequila, lime, orange, and coconut, sounds as though it should taste like a riff on a piƱa colada. Instead, it tastes undeniably of lemon meringue pie.

A dollop of citrus-infused whipped cream even swirls on the top of the soft yellow tipple. Creamy, rich, and with a buttery aftertaste that conjures memories of pie crust, this cocktail goes down almost too smoothly.

Along with craft cocktails, a large wine and beer list rounds out the drinks menu. Happy hour runs daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with big discounts, including $5 glasses of wine and $5 full-sized pitchers of beer.

The food menu includes bruschetta boards, grazing boxes filled with meats and cheeses, salads, paninis, and pastas. For dessert, pick a treats-filled grazing box, or just order another Leaving Heaven for a perfectly sour and sweet slice of pie in liquid form.

Blacksheep Wine Bar

98 South San Marcos Place, Chandler
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Tirion Morris is the Food Editor at Phoenix New Times. Find her digging into all of the best restaurants and dishes in the Valley, from new spots to hidden gems. Food tip? Get in touch at [email protected]
Contact: Tirion Morris