Food & Drink

The Best Wine Bars in Pittsburgh

Published On 02/23/2016 Published On 02/23/2016

Sonoma Grille

Downtown

Sonoma Kitchen, if the name hasn't given it away already, specializes in West Coast wines -- dozens and dozens and dozens of them. With the finest domestic wines from Washington, Oregon, and California, it’s no wonder Sonoma Kitchen won an award of excellence from Wine Spectator in 2014. What’s more, many wines on that extensive list are available by the glass, not just the bottle. 

The Allegheny Wine Mixer Inc

The Allegheny Wine Mixer

Lawrenceville

When it comes to Pittsburgh wine bars, Allegheny Wine Mixer is the gold standard. It’s known for its dynamic and affordable wine list in a bar with a down-to-earth vibe. Striving to highlight wines from grapes or regions that may not be familiar to people, the menu focuses on a different region each season. This winter is wines from Portugal; in the spring, wines from Sicily and Sardinia will take the spotlight. The ever-changing wine list covers more than 40 wines by the glass at any given time, ranging from $7 to $18 per pour. 

Andys Wine Bar

Downtown

Located in the Fairmont hotel downtown, Andys Wine Bar is named for two super-famous Pittsburgh “Andys” -- Carnegie and Warhol. The bar prides itself on its highly curated wine selection and bartenders who speak knowledgeably about them. Local jazz musicians perform at the bar Wednesday through Saturday nights with no cover charge. 

Morcilla/Adam Milliron

Morcilla

Lawrenceville

The Spanish-inspired standing-only bar at Morcilla is designed to serve pintxos (the Basque-version of tapas) with wine pairings in a convivial atmosphere. A rarity in the Pittsburgh bar scene, a 2oz pour is on the menu, giving diners the chance to experiment and sample several different wines. 

Courtesy of Nick Gill/Bar Marco

Bar Marco

Strip District

These days, Bar Marco gets a lot of attention for its choose-your-own-adventure-style cocktails (you pick the flavors, the bartender whips up something just for you). But at its core, Bar Marco is a wine bar -- an exquisite one, at that, with a focus on natural, organically farmed wines. For an extra splurge, book a reservation in The Wine Room for a six-course meal with wine pairings hosted by the staff sommelier in the bar’s wine cellar. 

Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen & Wine Bar

Shadyside

Casbah very seriously takes its mission to offer a wide variety of Old World wines, including a few dozen sold by the glass and many, many more sold by the bottle. Wines from Greece and Sicily shine alongside the kitchen’s mediterranean menu (all the olives and the hummus and the sea bass, please). Options for wine flights, each conveniently listed with its own flavor notes, are also available. 

Laura Petrilla/Il Tetto

Il Tetto

Downtown

The rooftop bar boasts 32 beers on draft, but it didn’t forget to curate a solid wine list, too, with a variety of options from California, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Argentina. There’s something for every palate, from the dry Masciarelli Montepulciano D’abruzzo to the sweet Urban Riesling to the bubbly Veuve Clicquot champagne practically made for a celebration with a skyline view. It’s a go-to spot when you want a glass of fine wine, but all your friends insist on beer.

Michelle Montana

Market St Wine Shop & Wine Bar

Downtown

A visit to the wine room is a mini-trip to Italy. Market St. Wine Bar carries exclusively Collefrisio wines made in Abruzzo, including one specially made for the Pittsburgh bar called the “Confronto.” Pair it with cheese, charcuterie, or any of the prepared hot foods from Market St. Grocery, which is connected to the bar. With only a dozen chairs but plenty of fresh flowers, the wine room has the perfect vibe for a naturally lit happy hour.

Courtesy of Cioppino

Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar

Strip District

Here’s where to go to pair your wine with a cigar. Many wines are sold by the bottle here, making it a good option for a large group of people wanting to toke on a stogie and sip a hearty red. The room sells cigars on-site and has plenty of wines by the glass, plus enough leather couches and rich mahogany to make Ron Burgundy jealous.

Dish Osteria and Bar

South Side

If you’re at Dish, you’re probably there for the pasta (like the dreamy, doughy homemade gnocchi), but don’t forget about the wine to wash it down. The list is an impressive catalogue of Italian wines, plus a few French and Spanish picks. It’s all served from an elegant wooden bar tucked away from busy Carson Street inside what could easily be mistaken for a South Side home from the outside. 

Courtesy of Senti Restaurant & Wine Bar

Senti Restaurant & Wine Bar

Lawrenceville

At Senti, you'll purchase a prepaid card for the bar. This is your chance! Serve yourself Italian wines from an Enomatic wine dispenser. The high-tech automated tap can pour a full glass or just a taste, a great opportunity to swish n' spit a few options and nail down your favorites. 

Spoon

Spoon

East Liberty

The wine list here is a novella, but don’t worry -- it inspires awe, not intimidation. The book runs the entire range of affordable glasses for an everyday dinner to splurge-worthy bottles for a celebration at Spoon's renowned restaurant.

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Rossilynne S. Culgan is a Pittsburgh native who’s Napa Valley dreamin’ on such a winter’s day. Follow her: @rossilynne.

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1. Sonoma Grille 947 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

This cozy bistro space has an American tapas menu that pairs beautifully with the West Coast wines that are heavily featured both by the glass and by the bottle. There's a great Mixed Grille section to the menu where you can choose a protein like Grilled Salmon or Indonesian Glazed Tofu, a side like Garlic Mashed Potatoes and an arrangement of sauces for dipping. Be sure to stop by on Sunday as well for a jazz brunch.

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2. The Allegheny Wine Mixer 5326 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

The Allegheny Wine Mixer’s charm is its atmosphere -- part cozy living room, part chic art gallery -- and its long wine list. Choose from a solid selection of imported and domestic wines, along with sparkling wines (tip: ask for a splash of limoncello in your bubbly) sold by the glass and by the bottle.

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3. Andy's Wine Bar 510 Market St, Pittsburgh, PA (Cultural District)

"Art and Industry" meet at this trendy downtown hang out that offers an extensive list of wine by the glass and plenty of tasty shareable dishes (pierogies, chips and dip, and charcuterie). Local jazz musicians also perform Wednesday through Saturday with no cover charge.

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4. Morcilla 3519 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA (Lower Lawrenceville)

This Spanish small plates spot in Lawrenceville is seafood centric-- try the oysters with pickled grapes and mustard seed. Also great? The wide selection of affordable new world wines. The space is standing-room only, which is fine for snacking on pintos, or Basque-style tapas. There is a 2oz pour option for the wines, allowing you to sample a couple varieties before ordering a full glass.

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5. Bar Marco 2216 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222

No need to worry about what to tip your server— the wine bar’s front-of-house and kitchen teams are paid salary, so no gratuity allowed! Bar Marco also offers The Wine Room, a reservation-only, two and a half hour dining experience with six courses off a local and seasonal menu items as well as wine selected by an in-house Sommelier. A dining room and private event spaces are also available for reservations.

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6. Casbah 229 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (Shadyside)

This eatery and wine bar offers a large selection of Old World wines, available both by the glass and by the bottle. The Mediterranean food menu is wonderfully complemented by wine options from Greece and Sicily. Wine flights taste great alongisde items like grilled chickpea flatbread with baba ganoush or veal and pork meatballs. The space has an Art Deco vibe with colorful lights and a patio for outdoor dining.

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7. Il Tetto 942 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

This space quickly established itself as downtown’s finest rooftop bar, offering 32 beers and cocktails on tap, plus a retractable roof and a view of the city’s tallest skyscrapers. There's a variety of wine options from California, Italy, Germany, Spain and Argentina. It's a great spot to hit if your friend group is split between brews and fine wine.

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8. Market St. Wine Shop and Bar 435 Market St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Visiting this wine room is like taking a tiny trip to Italy. Only Collefrisio wines made in Abruzzo are carried, including one made specifically for the bar. The space is connected to Market St. Grocery, and you can enjoy your wine with any of their foods in addition to cheese plates and charcuterie boards. There aren't many places to sit, so show up early to happy hour!

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9. Cioppino 2350 Railroad St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

Located within Pittsburgh’s Strip District, Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar is upscale Italian eatery and steakhouse. Allen Brothers prime cuts pair well with after dinner cigars. The leather bedecked interior is a solid locale to kick back and relax, vino in hand.

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10. Dish Osteria and Bar 128 S 17th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side Slopes)

A few blocks removed from the city’s bustling South Side, quiet-and-cozy Dish Osteria is practically hidden among the neighborhood’s row houses, and offers dishes like grilled eggplant & mozzarella, rigatoni with prosciutto & peas, and lots of seafood. If so inclined, you can finish your meal with a pick from their menu of varied grappa.

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11. Senti 3473 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

This meat-focused Italian restaurant features items like filetto di maiale (pork tenderloin with house-made sausage), chicken caponata, and tagliatelle with porcetta. Plus, the bar is equipped with a high-tech wine dispenser and an extensive wine list. You can go for a whole glass or just dispense yourself a taste, taking advantage of a good swish and spit opportunity before settling on your favorites.

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12. Spoon 134 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (East Liberty)

This New American restaurant boasts a farm-to-table menu supplied by local, sustainable products from the Pittsburgh area. Pull up a seat at their modern bar or cozy up in their plush banquettes, and order from their wide range of fresh dishes, featuring picks like celery root soup, grilled octopus, and Peking duck.

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