The Big Chicago 10: Hottest Wine Bars

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    Top Wine Bars In Chicago

    ••• BIN 36

    For the last several years in Chicago, everyone's drinking obsession has teetered between craft beers and classic cocktails. And while that's all good, one thing that will never go out of style is wine.

    Some of our favorite wine-focused lounges, in fact, have been around town for awhile and continue to garner new fans.They include a few that have perfected the vino-and-vittles-pairing game as well as the city's only wine distillery that doubles as a live-music venue. We also spotlight some of the new kids on the block.

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  • 02 of 11

    Appellation Wine Bar & Restaurant

    ••• Appellation Wine Bar & Restaurant

    The latest offering from the Pastoral Cheese & Wine store team, Appellation pairs the premium goods with chef-driven bistro fare. It's located in Andersonville--one of the far North Side's top dining destinations--and showcases a cozy, neighborhood vibe. The menu changes often with seasonal bites, and brunch is served Saturday and Sunday. Highlights include the charcuterie (order the ham flight), gourmet cold sandwiches like the Mediterranean turkey piled high with roasted local turkey, and artisan cheese flights. 5212 N. Clark St., 773-358-7181

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  • 03 of 11

    Beaudevin

    ••• Beaudevin

    Everything doesn't have to be hectic at the airport. Offering a bit of solace is Beaudevin, which loosely translates into “the beauty of wine,” and is located in Concourse C near Gate 17 at O'Hare International Airport. The lounge is Euro influenced, and offers travelers a nice choice of more than 20 red, white and sparkling wines. It's much better swill than you'll get on the plane, plus the small plates (Scottish smoked salmon, turkey berry goat cheese, roasted herbed chicken) aren't bad either.

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  • 04 of 11

    BIN 36

    ••• BIN 36

    In its sweet new West Loop home, BIN 36 continues its fantastic mission of educating the public on the wonders of wine. The user-friendly program is based on a foundation of 50 wines available by the taste, glass, flight or bottle. The food ranges from smaller (pimento cheese fritters, roasted bone marrow) to larger (grilled strip steak, braised eggplant) plates and it all matches up well with the wine. 161 N. Jefferson St., 312-995-6560

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  • 05 of 11

    City Winery Chicago

    ••• City Winery

    The second outpost of the New York City-based urban winery is located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. In addition to holding the title as the city’s only fully operational winery, the sprawling venue serves as a restaurant, live-music venue and retail store. Genres are all over the place as far as music; it ranges from folk to funk. 1200 W. Randolph St., 312-733-9463

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  • 06 of 11

    Eno Wine Bar

    ••• Eno Wine Bar

    You'll find Eno Wine Bar on the lobby level of the Intercontinental Hotel--which is also home to Michael Jordan's Steak House located right off the Magnificent Mile. While guys go to Jordan's for the 45-day aged Porterhouse for two, ladies settle into this plush pub to match artisan chocolate truffles and cheeses with small-batch wine. You may also order wine, cheese and chocolates by the flight. There's an adjacent shop where you can purchase what you enjoyed. 505 N. Michigan Ave., 312-944-4100

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  • 07 of 11

    Quartino Ristorante

    ••• Quartino Ristorante

    Managed and owned by the team behind Gibsons Steakhouse, Quartino feels like the slick neighborhood eatery in Italy where all the locals frequent. Its well-rounded menu lists all the housemade essentials: salumi, pastas, Neapolitan pizzas (and all the ingredients) and many of the seasonal dishes. At the heart of the beverage program is the wine, which of course is highly Italian influenced. You may order wine by the glass, bottle or quartino--of course. It's based in River North. 626 N. State St., 312-698-5000

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  • 08 of 11

    Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

    ••• Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

    Three former employees of the venerable Webster's Wine Bar got together to open this very neighborhood-focused bar specializing in wine and craft beer. Rootstock manages, of course, not to skimp on the offerings just because of its humble Humboldt Park home. Selections are spectacular, from the ever-changing menu of small, wine-friendly plates filled with lots of local ingredients to wine selections easily competing with the bigger downtown outfits. 954 N. California Ave., 773-292-1616

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  • 09 of 11

    Seven Lions

    ••• Seven Lions

    Noted master sommelier Alpana Singh opens her second Chicago restaurant, this time downtown in walking distance of Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park. The clubby restaurant offers a menu of updated retro fare, such as a wild boar chop and squid ink spaghetti, paired with wine. There's a special early menu for the theater crowd, served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. It's $39 for three courses and includes a soup of the day and dessert. 130 S. Michigan Ave., 312-880-0130

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  • 10 of 11

    Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

    ••• Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

    Located adjacent to the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Roscoe Village is a sleepy little area filled with charming vintage boutiques and shops as well as low key eating and drinking places. For wine, the place to be is Volo, which is best known for its yearround garden patio. The menu consists of a rotating list of small plates, artisan cheeses and desserts like crispy eggplant, a flight of European cheeses and salted caramel chocolate mousse. There are around 30 wines available by the half glass, glass, taste, mini-carafe or full bottle to complement. 2008 W. Roscoe St., 773-348-4600

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  • 11 of 11

    Webster's Wine Bar

    ••• Webster's Wine Bar

    In its new Logan Square home, Webster's Wine Bar feels fresh and retains its position as one of Chicago's top date destinations. You'll find the main dining room to be cheerier than its predecessor, as its decor blends reclaimed and contemporary furnishings. It's a soothing enough setting to enjoy bites of fried ham and oysters, Spanish meatballs or a flight of charcuterie as you sip one of the comprehensive global wine selections. 2601 N. Milwaukee Ave.,  773-292-9463