10 Fantastic Wine Bars
Stop by for happy hour and try a new varietal. The vino is flowing.
Wine bars offer the perfect setting for unwinding with friends and perhaps trying a new grape or blend beyond your usual go-to’s. Some local spots are small and intimate, while others have expansive by-the-bottle lists and even make it easy for you bring a new favorite find home. Here are 10 area wine bars worth discovering (if you aren’t a regular already).
The wine bar in the Tysons Corner Ritz-Carlton lives up to its luxurious surroundings, but also offers a generous happy hour with several wine specials (and parmesan-garlic fries) for $5 from 2-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. In addition to the more than 50 wines by the glass, Entyse also serves rare wines by the small pour, giving guests the opportunity to taste wine—including a Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon and Rochioli Pinot Noir—that, when sold by the bottle, would ring up at hundreds of dollars. Several of these wines area also available as a flight of 2 oz. pours during happy hour. //The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean
This two-year-old Courthouse wine bar offers a dozen wines by the glass for under $10 during its daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.—including weekends. On Sundays and Mondays until 10 p.m., order three bruschetta— including brie and fig, strawberry with whipped ricotta, and avocado with smoked paprika— plus a bottle for $25. //Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza, 2415 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Courthouse)
The Falls Church City wine-and-beer retail shop opened an upstairs bar and restaurant in the fall of 2018. The two entities complement one another; if you find a wine you like from the by-the-glass selection, you can buy the bottle downstairs to enjoy later, and if you discover something you like while exploring the shop, you can bring the bottle upstairs and pair it with your ribeye for a small corkage fee. The bar specializes in Old World wines, including a house favorite from Italy’s Umbria Region called Colsanto Sagrantino Di Montelfalco, made with 100% Sagrantino grapes, for a dense, full bodied dry wine. Happy hour runs every day from 4 to 7 p.m., and includes discounts on nibbles like grilled shrimp, pomme frites with rosemary and garlic, and chicken, pork belly or beef sliders. //107 Rowell Court, Falls Church City
The Clarendon café features a self-serve wine “fountain” with 16 rotating—usually Eurocentric—options that you can sample in various sized pours. Guests purchase a refillable debit card to pay for the wine, so there’s no waiting for table or bar service. In the summer, Oby Lee serves tropical wine slushies and offers seven flavors of mimosas with seasonal fruits like cinnamon-apple and pink grapefruit. Select bottles are half-price on Wednesdays, and on Thursdays discounted happy hour prices go until 9 p.m., including 15% off all wine fountain selections. //3000 Washington Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon)
Jill Erber’s homegrown chainlet has three area locations with identical wine lists, specializing in wines by the glass—including more than two dozen selections and a rotating menu of popular flights. The food menu has a variety of mac-and-cheese and grilled cheese sandwich options, as well as some cheese-centric small plates (think fondue and poutine tater tots) that are perfect for grazing while sipping. Happy hour is weeknights from 3-7 p.m. with glass and starter discounts. //4024 Campell Ave., Arlington (Shirlington), 2411 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria (Del Ray) and 2985 District Ave., Fairfax (Mosaic District)
This Clarendon wine bar just celebrated its 10th birthday and added a new addition for 2020: its own rosé. Smooth Sailing Rosé—a 2019 South African Pinotage with watermelon and citrus notes—is poured (and sold) exclusively at Screwtop. It even has its own Instagram page and a wine club for rosé lovers. Screwtop hosts free wine tastings every Friday until 7 p.m., and offers an ever-changing collection of 50 wines by the glass, as well as a tidy food menu and full retail bottle shop. The intimate bar also hosts private tastings and public events led by its knowledgeable staff, including an upcoming Valentine’s-themed tasting of 20 wines and chocolate on Feb. 8. //1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington (Clarendon)
The steakhouse group’s Tysons location offers monthly wine dinners and wine specials, like unlimited tastings across the Duckhorn portfolio. Happy hour is offered daily in Fleming’s wine bar—from 5-7 p.m. guests can order generous pours of five wines for under $10 each to pair with deals on the restaurant’s prime burger and lobster and crab cake sliders. Insider tip: ask for the secret stash list—these are special vintages and wines not available in large quantities, so they’re not on the expansive bottle menu. //Courtyard by Marriott Tysons McLean, 1960-A, Chain Bridge Road, McLean
Both Northside locations showcase half-price bottle nights on Mondays and a daily happy hour with six wines by the glass for $6. Northside Clarendon also offers a monthly guided tour of off-menu selections for $5. Wine director Karin Logan takes care to offer wine that’s unique to the area, including New and Old World selections as well as current wine world darlings—natural wines made with minimal intervention. //3211 Wilson Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon); 205 Park Ave., Falls Church
This chic lounge, connected to the boisterous Board Room bar and restaurant, offers a quieter drinking experience with a focus on sparkling wines, including several selections from Virginia vineyards. Ms. Peacock’s spotlights several bottles a month on a $30 flight menu and offers a “date night” special with sparkling wine, light food and dessert for $50. Oysters, a classic Champagne pairing, are $1 every Friday until 8 p.m. //929 Garfield St., Arlington (Clarendon)
A cozy wine bar and French restaurant in Ballston, Grand Cru boasts 350 bottles and several dozen by-the-glass and flight options, including nine “house” wines for $7 each. Those wines and select appetizers are $5 during the weekday happy hour from 4-6:30 p.m. The bistro is also a retailer, and the restaurant offers 20% off on bottles to go. Have a glass outside in the warmer months. //4301 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston)