Charleston: The Ultimate Local's Guide
Chef Matt Bolus and General Manager Travis Brazil make up an unbeatable team when it comes to pairing delicious seasonal cuisine with hard-to-find wines. Brazil curates one of the most interesting wine lists in town along with an unsurpassed collection of whiskeys from around the world.
This popular East Nashville meeting spot used to be a second location of the original Rumours in 12 South, hence the directional name. Now that it’s the one and only, Rumours East is still beloved for its cozy, casual vibe and one of the city’s best patios.
For fine dining in a decidedly unstuffy environment, Flyte is the place. Its wine list is imaginative and affordable, and it even includes a pronunciation guide to the varietals and wineries so you don’t sound stupid in front of your date. (Well, you might still end up sounding stupid, but at least not while ordering a bottle.)
Recognized for having one of the Top 100 wine lists in the country, 360 Bistro is the go-to stop for West Nashville residents searching out fine food and high-end wine. Try one of its flights to sample three 3oz pours of sparklers, exotic whites and reds, or ports.
The clubby environment of the Oak Bar is a drinker’s paradise. Enjoy small plates of Southern specialty snacks while you sip on a cocktail or a glass from the lengthy, yet affordable list of wines. Bonus: the men’s room next door is consistently named one of the nation’s best. Take a pee(k).
Like the equivalent of a self-serve gas station, JJ’s Wine Bar in Downtown Franklin lets you fill your own tank. Drop off a credit card to start a tab and choose from 28 different wines poured from wine stations by the taste, the half pour, or full glass. Sample and drink to your heart’s content and then settle up on the way out the door.
A relative newcomer to the Nashville drinking and dining scene, City Winery offers patios and terraces with some of the best views of Downtown. In addition to several bars serving a variety of house wines on tap, there are also plenty of cult wines available by the glass or by the bottle. As a bonus, City Winery is also one of Nashville’s best live performance venues.
Already appreciated for serving some of the city’s most creative and delicious rustic Italian food, City House is also a haven for wine lovers. Its small, secluded bar is a great spot to meet with friends for a quick glass after work, and even solo diners can have a great experience sitting at the pizza bar with a glass of sangiovese and watching the talented kitchen work the wood-fired oven.
A fairly recent addition to Chef Dan Maggipinto’s popular Sylvan Park Italian eatery, Caffe Nonna, the pizzeria and wine bar right next door offers a casual alternative for those seeking an affordable bottle of wine and a pie. Family-friendly and laid back, Nonna’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar also has the bonus benefit of serving from the full menu next door.
Situated on the wedge-shaped piece of property where Broadway and Division split in Midtown, the bar at Union Common is a sleek and sexy place to enjoy a glass from its well-curated list while the headlights from passing cars stream by on both sides of the building. The effect is not unlike dining in a classy bar car on a luxury train. A couple of small plates from the food menu and a few glasses are all you need for a great evening.
Thanks to a secret entrance via a hidden stairwell in its downstairs neighbor, Savarino’s Cucina in Hillsboro Village, Amari has a decidedly speakeasy feel. Intimate seating for discreet canoodling and half-price happy hour wine deals make Amari a favorite spot for drinkers looking for an entertaining night out in a unique atmosphere.
Although several restaurant concepts have come and gone in this East Nashville space, perhaps this one will be the charm. The Vine features more than 100 wines, including many non-traditional varietals. It also offers a long list of interesting flights to introduce patrons to wines they might not otherwise discover, and many wines are available by the half bottle to encourage experimentation.