Food & Drink

The 10 Best Wine Bars in New Orleans

Published On 06/23/2015 Published On 06/23/2015
Lisa DeVore
Evan Hayes/The Delachaise
Orleans Grapevine
Pearl Wine Co.
Sarah Celino
Patrick's Bar Vin
Courtesy of Tommy's Wine Bar
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1. Bacchanal Wine 600 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Customization is what makes Bywater Bacchanal a fun dining experience. You personally pick a wine bottle straight from their wine cellar and pair it with as many pieces of cheese as you can stomach. Head out to the backyard for live jazz and string-light ambience, and a waiter will deliver your cheese selections with complimentary bread, preserves and nuts. If you want a more substantial meal, Bacchanal also offers an extensive fine dining menu.

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2. Oak Wine Bar 8118 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

With plenty of wines by the glass and almost one hundred bottles, Oak has a solid supply to offer any wine lover. What makes things really interesting is how Oak's varietals are grouped by palate, which is a good thing, since the menu of tasty small plates was designed by Chef Aaron Burgau from Patois. Bonus points for the craft cocktail menu and the live music.

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3. The Tasting Room 1906 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This Magazine spot is a cozy place to explore your palate and relax over a glass with a friend. The leather sofas might give you anxiety about spilling some Cab, but the comfortable, intimate setting is fantastic for date night. Don't overlook the $5 "leisure hour" special from 3-6pm Wednesday-Monday and all day Tuesday (including red, white, and bubbles).

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4. The Delachaise 3442 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

Picture this: an intimate dinner on an outdoor patio, strings of glowing lights crisscrossing overhead, sipping on a selection from one of New Orleans’ most decorated wine lists, and snacking on decadent bites like goose-fat fried pommes frites, piquant with peanut satay (or, for those undeterred by fine swamp food, the spice-obsessed frog legs). It’s your average night at The Delachaise, a weekend haunt for wine lovers with Creole cravings and time to spare -- evenings at this cozy joint are relaxed affairs, and the “walk-ins only” policy means you’ll likely wait for a table (trust us: it's worth it).

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5. w.i.n.o. 610 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Not your usual wine shop, the Wine Institute of New Orleans (w.i.n.o.) offers classes, tastings, and more to improve your palate, educate you, and bring you a nice buzz. This spot is high-tech, too -- it's got automated pouring machines and tasting cards that'll help you work around the global selection of 120 wines, which are all available by the ounce, half-glass, or full pour.

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6. Orleans Grapevine 718 Orleans Ave Apt 10, New Orleans, LA 70116-3124

Wine and "casual fine dining" take center stage inside this historic, Vieux Carre building constructed in 1809. Grapevine has eight wine flights that range from international white to port, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and dessert wines, plus a lengthy list of by-the-glass and bottle options to enjoy. The hearty menu (double-cut pork chop, steak, steak with lobster, etc.) lists out advisable pairings, which cuts down on some guesswork for the indecisive or inexperienced oenophile.

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7. Pearl Wine Co. 3700 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

This shop has the largest selection of wine in New Orleans (over 600 bottles). You can enjoy a glass or two (or a few) just adjacent to the store, at Pearl’s wine bar. The bar offers vintages by the glass, which range from $5-$35, in addition to cocktails, dessert wines, and craft beer. The noteworthy events schedule features, among other things, "Massage and Martini Mondays." Um... yes, please.

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8. Swirl Sensational Wines 3143 Ponce de Leon St, New Orleans, LA 70119

With over 30 wines by the glass and quick with a generous pour, Swirl is mostly known for its European selection, which comes along with light fare like pickles and cheeses. This is clearly the place you want to go after Jazz Fest when you’re looking for a place that offers (significantly) better wine than you'll get at fest, all within walking distance of the fairgrounds.

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9. Patrick's Bar Vin 730 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

When you're looking for a handsome, upscale wine spot in the middle of the Quarter, Patrick’s is the spot you want to find. The wine list is solid, it's got a lovely courtyard, and you don't want to miss the happy hour special (4-7pm Mon-Thur) -- featuring domestic beer at $2, plus well drinks and house wine for $4. If you happen to need your own personal, climate-controlled wine locker -- engraved with your name -- it has that, too.

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10. Tommy's Wine Bar 752 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

“Classic Creole Italian” fare with wines to match are the signature move at Tommy’s Cuisine -- an upscale, downtown establishment. The wine bar has a 150-deep wine selection and offers 20 by the glass, assisted by a sizable Scotch, bourbon, and Cognac list, plus the de rigueur small plates, cheeses, and so forth -- AND apps and desserts if you want something a little more substantial.