While most people think of Nashville as a beer or whiskey drinking town, there are no shortage of places to enjoy a glass of fine wine – an industry that Xennials certainly have kept relevant and thriving!
Most restaurants offer some sort of wine option, but I’ve compiled a lists of bars and restaurants that are truly wine-centric – think, long-stemmed glasses above the bar and places where you feel strange ordering anything other than wine (even if they offer it). Places where you can ask your server or bartender about the wine and they can give you an informed recommendation. Places where wine is the muse.
Boqueria in 5th and Broadway has one of the prettiest bar set-ups around, and their wine list is as equally impressive. Stop by for a unique Spanish tapas spin on brunch, or find them on the guide to Happy Hours after 5 pm (on Thursdays from 5-6 you can get a free pour of cava with every order of tapas at the bar).
A little extra: Parking downtown is always a challenge…but Boqueria will validate in the 5th and Broadway garage for up to 1 hour.
Appropriately named, By the Bottle in the Fairlane Hotel, sells wine primarily, well, by the bottle. Owned and operated by Kate Cunningham, By the Bottle features a rotating collection of natural wines, selected by Kate. When you go, ask Kate about the wines and she’ll fill you in on the selection process (she looks for unique wines you might never have encountered!), the type of wine (I didn’t know what skin-contact meant), and anything else you might want to know. And if you’re not up for a full bottle, they do have a few by-the-glass options, as well.
A little extra: Ask about private events and tastings for a unique work, girls’ night, book club, etc. activity.
Most people think of City Winery as a music or event venue. But, did you know they have a traditional restaurant, as well? There you can order from their house-made wines (that house is not in Nashville, but you know what I mean) and have a great meal, too. And, if you have a chance to see a show in their Lounge, I highly recommend it. It’s a very intimate, cozy venue and perfect for catching an up-and-coming artist.
Sixty Vines, also in 5th and Broadway, is so wine-centric, the tables come set with wine glasses! They offer an extensive selection of wines, including a full wall of wines on tap. It’s a great option for brunch or a classy night on the town!
Love and Exile has been through a lot – a name change, a tornado, Covid…but they have emerged better than ever. This is one of my favorite spots in town, and I cannot say enough good things about it. A good happy hour, fantastic house-made wine, delicious food, friendly staff, an amazing outdoor space, a trendy indoor space with plenty of room to accommodate groups…it’s really the best. And, you can sign up for a tour of their winery – yes, there really is a winery right in the heart of East Nash!
I LOVE a wine bar in a historic home, and Parlor Wine is just gorgeous. Located inside the Urban Cowboy hotel, Parlor Wine has a beautiful bar where you can order from their rotating collection of wines – or a wine-based cocktail! – and then you’re welcome to sit in one of the home’s parlors, on the stately front porch, or in their cozy back garden area (where, of course, they occasionally have live music).
My absolute favorite wine bar in all of Nashville was the Authentique. Sadly, it closed in July (rumors are that this closure is temporary, though – so keep your fingers crossed and eyes peeled!). In the meantime, owner Melvil Arnt operates both Once Upon a Time in France, a beautiful and authentic French cafe, and the Overlord, a WWII themed bar with weekly live jazz and blues. While neither are a wine bar as I’ve defined it, both feature delicious wines chosen by Mel himself (and he’s Parisian, so you know he won’t steer you wrong!) and offer promise that the Authentique will rise again!
Of this list, Van Gogh’s Ear feels the least like a traditional wine bar to me. However, it is a very cool space, also in a historic home, and features over 20 wines, including several very affordable options on tap. They have a huge outdoor backyard with live music, and are as funky and eclectic as you expect (and want!) a place to be when you’re in East Nash.
Although it is a chain, Barcelona doesn’t feel like one – and offers delicious wines and tapas. So, we won’t hold their cross-country popularity against them. Check out the website for their extensive (21 pages!) wine list which features something for every budget, taste, and dietary preference (they have organic, natural, and low-sulfite wines, too!). The also have a few different wine flights if you just can’t decide – and whipped sheep’s cheese that just might change your life.
Sylvan Park/The Nations
Located in L&L market, PennePazze is an authentic Italian restaurant with a 4.9 Google rating from almost 1,000 reviews! Wine and Italian food are inseparable, and PennePazze makes that clear, even using bottles to decorate their beautiful industrial space. Their happy hour is 3-6 pm on Tuesdays-Fridays and features half off glasses and BOGO 50% off bottles!!
Tucked away in a shopping center in Donelson, Wine Down is a boutique wine bar, which means it has a more limited selection than some of the others on this list. However, that selection has been carefully curated by the owner, so you can be sure you’re getting something good. This place feels like you’re walking into a friend’s living room – it’s intimate and friendly, and the staff wants to make you feel at home. They also offer events (trivia, comedy, live music, etc), so be sure to check out their website for the latest.
Okay, this is not a wine bar but it might be Nashvillians’ collective favorite place to drink wine. Owned by Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn, Arrington is a beautiful place with plenty of space for groups and enough varieties of wine to appeal to every palate! About 30 miles outside of the city, head towards Franklin, then take a left and you’ll be there!
Again with the historic homes! JJs is in a charming bungalow in downtown Franklin and features dispensable wine – with a pre-purchased debit card, you can select a 1, 5, or 8 oz pour of a variety of wines (which are 25% off during happy hour!). I loved the novelty of the machines and the freedom to try a bunch of things, but if that’s not your speed, you can buy wine off the menu by the glass or the bottle. The wrap-around porch is charming, and inside you can find romantic and cozy or casual and lighthearted (with board games).
If you want to get away from the bustle of the city, head north to Springfield, where you will find the charming Mystic Picnic Wine. A wine and whiskey bar, I’m not sure which list of offerings is more impressive. My suggestion – order some truffles and berries and a bottle of a Le P’tit Paysan cab and treat yo’ self (as long as you’re sharing or have a DD, of course!) And be sure to take a Sunday drive sometime to enjoy their cinema brunch (reservations required).
About an hour south of Nashville, Natchez Hills Vineyard and Winery is worth the drive, because if you find a wine you love, you can pick it up in Nashville whenever you run out. They have two local tasting rooms – the Nashville Farmer’s Market, and the Hermitage!
Any wine bars I haven’t discovered yet? If I’m missing one of your favorites, leave us a tip below or send me an email. Cheers!