Maybe it's the proximity to Napa Valley and Sonoma or maybe it's the breeze coming off the bay that creates an ideal temperature for wine drinking, but San Francisco is a city for oenophiles. Heading to San Francisco and looking to indulge in the pleasure of wine? If so, check out our favorite wine spots in the city. Disclaimer: This is in NO way a comprehensive list, but just a starting point. Let us know your favorite spots and may the odds be ever in your favor!
With an air of French flair and transformative atmosphere, Amèlie is not to be missed. The wine list boasts bottles from around the globe, with an obvious emphasis on French wine. Can't decide on which wines to consume? Stop by during happy hour (5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.) to partake in a $10 customized flight with any three wines by the glass. Sounds dangerous!
2. First Crush
First Crush's 200 bottle wine list has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every single year since 2001. With an emphasis on Californian wines, the list ranges from small family producers to highly sought after cult wines.
Upon finding success in New York, The Bubble Lounge traveled to San Francisco in 1998. Providing an environment conducive for Champagne and sparkling wine consumption, the Bubble Lounge offers over 300 varieties of sparkling wine with the idea that Champagnes are "no longer for the elite alone". We sure do love the sound of bottles popping!
Celebrating it's 10th anniversary last year, Nectar sets the tone as inviting and approachable with a wine list that is both balanced and playful. This neighborhood gem boasts over 400 selections by the bottle and 35 wines by the glass. The problem: figuring out how to leave.
Hôtel Biron is a place where wine meets art in a tucked away nook off of Rose Alley. Opening in 2001, Biron has about 50 wines on their list, with half of those being by the glass. What makes this place unique, besides the local artists who showcase their work in the bar, is their preference towards wines that are made without chemicals in the vineyard and minimal additives in the winery. Yes, this is not a new philosophy, but the wine list is much more affordable than others.
Exposed brick walls and high, open ceilings create the perfect ambiance for a glass of wine and conversation. Due to it's location near AT&T Park, District melds into a wine bar meets a sports bar during games. Caterina Mirabelli, District's wine director, is a native of Rome who has created a wine list that is straightforward and uncomplicated to let the wines speak for themselves.
With an aim to create a wine bar that feels like home, InnerFog offers a unique wine selection that focuses on small-production wineries worldwide and sources it food from local organic markets and farms. This process allows for the beauty of San Francisco to speak for itself. Sit back and enjoy!
With Yield Wine Bar opening in 2006, it saw so much success that a second location, Pause Wine Bar, was opened shortly after. Yield presents a more cozy neighborhood wine bar, while Pause provides more seating and a semi-private room for parties and special events. Both bars serve eco-friendly wines and wine-friendly vegetarian food. Why not partake in both?
The Hidden Vine started in the back alcove of a small hotel near Union Square, but quickly gained success by having a rotating focus on a different wine region each month. Named Top 10 Wine Bars in America by Gayot in 2014, their wine list currently features 180 wines, with 40 of those poured by the glass. Choose wisely!
10. Press Club
Offering California wines in an award-winning architectural environment, Press Club is a well known and sophisticated wine bar for those who really have an affinity for the juice. Each month an artisan vintner is featured at Press Club, where visitors can try the wines directly from the winemaker on select evenings. We recommend checking their website to go on these days. The problem: We aren't there right now!