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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stay Classy This Winter With a Spiced Pear Tom Collins
1. Sonoma Grille947 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh
2. The Allegheny Wine Mixer5326 Butler St, Pittsburgh
3. Andy's Wine Bar510 Market St, Pittsburgh
4. Morcilla3519 Butler St, Pittsburgh
5. Casbah229 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh
6. Il Tetto942 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh
7. Market St. Wine Shop and Bar435 Market St, Pittsburgh
8. Cioppino2350 Railroad St, Pittsburgh
9. Dish Osteria and Bar128 S 17th St, Pittsburgh
10. Senti3473 Butler St, Pittsburgh
11. Spoon134 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh
12. Bar Marco2216 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh
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.
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.
"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.
Morcilla, Justin Severino's second restaurant in Lawrenceville, is an ode to Spain's Basque Country and its pintxo style of dining. A close relative of tapas, pinxtos are small plates that -- as reimagined by Severino -- emphasize house-made charcuterie, croquetas (fried balls filled with the likes of jamon, chestnut, and bacalao), and egg tortillas. A meal at Morcilla isn't complete without a gin and tonic made with the restaurant's house-made tonics, or a Spanish cider. The design, too, is inspired by Basque culture, with wooden ceilings and a storefront that looks like many a tapas bar in San Sebastian.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It's hard to put your finger on Shadyside's Spoon, with a globally inspired menu that zigzags between hyper-modern, experimental, ten-ingredient plates and more casual, comfort eats. But, you don't have be able to put your finger on a place in order to want to lick your plate. More playful options on the changing menu can take the form of a gorgonzola soufflé with candied walnuts and stone-fruit salad, or stick to traditional tastes with a straightforward serving of short rib and rib eye. You wouldn't be going wrong in either direction. A dignified proprietary cocktail selection can be sipped in any of the turquoise banquettes underneath the contemporary firework-shaped chandeliers, making for a clubby drinking atmosphere.
Bar Marco, an elegant European-inflected Strip District destination, doesn't just make waves with it's food (which is nothing to scoff at). The restaurant has disposed of the traditional tipping policy, instead offering employees substantial salaries and stake in the business instead. That means servers are all the more enthusiastic to serve your pigs' head croquettes with dollops of grain mustard aioli, discuss the buckwheat fettuccine with a nutmeg-spiced pork ragu blanket that you just ordered, or take extra care that the kitchen cooks your filet mignon to the right temperature. A subterranean Wine Room offers ticketed meals which require reservations, but you can stop by the main dining room anytime for a meal and a glass of wine from small producers.