Nashville does great whiskey and great beer... and apparently just to complete the booze triptych, it turns out this town also does great wine, too. So if you're looking for a little grape to go with your grains, here's where to get them.
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.
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Chris Chamberlain is a native Nashvillager (we do exist!) who writes about food, drink, culture, and travel in a bunch of places that you've probably seen if you love Nashville. Follow him: @CeeElCee.
1. Rumours East1112 Woodland St, Nashville
2. Flyte World Dining and Wine718 Division St, Nashville
3. The 404 Kitchen404 12th Ave S, Nashville
4. 360 Wine Bar Bistro6000 Highway 100, Nashville
5. Oak Bar231 6th Ave N, Nashville
6. JJ's Wine Bar206 E Main St, Franklin
7. City Winery609 Lafayette St, Nashville
8. City House1222 4th Ave N, Nashville
9. Nonna's Pizzeria & Wine Bar4427 Murphy Rd, Nashville
10. Union Common1929 Broadway, Nashville
11. Amari2121 Belcourt Ave, Nashville
12. The Vine501 Main St, Nashville
Located in East Nashville, this wine bar and tapas resto offers a lovely outdoor patio area to enjoy your drinks (wine, beer, and mixeds), as well as a diverse menu with options for brunch, dinner, and dessert.
Manned by award-winning Chef Matt Lackey, this Downtown resto's menu utilizes artisanal ingredients sourced from Middle Tennessee farms, and their wine selection features some of the most unique varietals from around the world.
Housed in a downtown shipping container, this intimate spot barely fits 40 diners, but it's worth a visit if only for its 150-strong whiskey collection that features obscure selections and mainstream brands alike. The dishes emerging from the tiny kitchen -- like the peach and tomato salad, or the rabbit with dandelion greens -- use gamey meats and peasant ingredients like squash, cornbread, and red potatoes to create an assembly of homey flavors.
With one of the Top 100 wine lists in the country, this is the obvious choice for West Nashville residents in search of some of the best wine available. Try one of their flights to sample three 3 oz. pours of sparklers, exotic whites and reds or ports.
The Hermitage Hotel's Oak Bar maintains a high-octane offering largely thanks due to the caliber of clientele it regularly entertains. Expect a more expensive -- not to mention, older, more mature -- collection of whiskeys here, as well as a leather- and dark wood-heavy space that reflects its private gentlemen's club origins.
JJ's is like a self-serve gas station, but with wine and a whole lot more sanitary. Drop off your credit card at the door, fill up on samples of 28 different wines from Wine Stations by the taste, the half pour or full glass, and settle up on your way out.
Built within a 30,000sqft warehouse in SoBro, Nashville's City Winery is its fourth and largest location. The restaurant and music venue surrounds the winery, which not only serves its own blends on tap, but also a 400+ bottle international wine list.
The James Beard-nominated City House has become a Nashville staple for its creative spin on Italian dishes. The weekly Sunday Supper with its ever-changing lineup is always a hot event, but be sure to make reservations in advance. This Germantown spot is also a great place for wine lovers. Its small, secluded bar is a great place 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.
Nonna's Pizzeria & Wine Bar is a casual choice for those seeking affordable bottles of wine. Plus, family friendly and laid-back Nonna's has the benefit of the full menu of it's slightly more upscale partner next door, Sylvan Park Italian.
Union Common is located where Division meets Broadway in Midtown in lofty space with a triangular dining room where cars stream by on both sides of the restaurant. The art deco interior and cool jazz playing create the perfect ambiance and backdrop for a creative menu designed for sharing large format steaks, served pre-sliced for easy distribution around the table.
There's a secret entrance to this speakeasy style wine bar through neighboring Savarino’s Cucina. Lined with intimate seating and a half-priced happy hour deal, this place is a favorite for a date night out.