Wine bars are a great way to try new wines because they aren’t just designed for connoisseurs; wine bars are, more than anything, a way to expand your horizon and learn more about something you enjoy. Chicago has a number of excellent wine bars, from the famous Webster’s to the hipster Juicy Wine Company on Milwaukee. If you’re planning to be in Chicago for any length of time, make sure you check out these excellent wine bars.
Webster’s Wine Bar on W. Webster Avenue
Webster’s is one of the most enduring and famous wine bars of Chicago with its relaxed, candle-lit setting and great wine list. Their list tends to focus on small-batch produces and offers over 500 reserve bottles from around the world. They highlight a new wine every month and you’re free to relax and enjoy artisanal cheeses and regional meals carefully chosen to complement each wine. Webster’s was founded back in 1994, making it the oldest wine bar in all of Chicago. They also have frequent events, including the Annual Champagne Tasting which takes place in December.
Bin 36 at Marina City
Bin 36, which is located at Chicago’s Marina City, is a very popular wine bar with tourists and features a great modern industrial design with a coffee and cheese bar. Wines are selected by Brian Duncan, Gourmet Magazine’s 2008 Wine Director of the Year. Bin 36 recently celebrated thirteen years at its location and it was also listed as one of the top 100 restaurants with the most notable wine lists in the U.S. If you’re planning to be in the area, Bin 36 is worth your time.
ENO at the InterContinental Hotel Chicago
As you can guess from the location, ENO is a great wine bar for visitors to the Chicago area. ENO has a massive wine collection with over 5,000 selections and it’s a popular choice for a romantic evening. Perhaps the most unique aspect of ENO is their collection of fine chocolates and cheeses from around the world. ENO carries cheeses that represent more than 35 small producers from every corner of the world as well as truffles and chocolate bars from chocolatiers in the area. This intimate wine bar is highly recommended, even if you aren’t staying in the hotel.
Juicy Wine Company on Milwaukee Avenue
Want to try a wine bar with more of a hipster feel? The Juicy Wine Company may be what you’re looking for. This wine bar is very relaxed with a younger crowd and a pleasing contemporary design with modular booths and light wood. Juicy is the perfect environment for sharing a nice evening with friends and the servers are all very knowledgeable. They also have a very quirky, fun wine list that’s actually very extensive.
In Fine Spirits on Clark Street
Finally, don’t leave Chicago without a stop at In Fine Spirits, which focuses mostly on New World wines and unusual varietals. They offer daily specials with an array of collectible, limited and reserve wines to try. If you’re looking for something unique and new to try, In Fine Spirits is one of the best spots in Chicago.