As wine bars seem to pop up on every block, wine blog Vinography takes the trend to task, setting the bar for what should and should not be considered a wine bar.

With the ever-increasing interest in wine, it was bound to happen—wine bars in every cute and quaint corner of the city. But as blogger Alder points out, they don’t always live up to the name.

Perhaps you’ve experienced this, too? You wander into a newly opened ‘Bistro and Wine Bar’ in a favorite neighborhood only to find it is actually just a restaurant … that serves wine by the (often over-full and impossible to swirl) glass? I often find that such establishments, even those that actually have a bar you can sit at, not only bear no resemblance in service or offering to what I think of as a wine bar, their wine selections are often worse than many restaurants their caliber who wouldn’t dream of calling themselves wine bars.

Though Alder has only two simple qualifications for a real wine bar, he’s quite clear on what doesn’t make the cut, trumpeting his belief that a true wine bar should have wines available by the glass, half-glass, bottle, and open for a little taste.

A restaurant that happens to have a list of wines by the glass (no matter how long or how great) is not a wine bar, no matter what they say on the sign outside. A wine shop that has a little tasting area where they sometimes (announced or unannounced) pour wines for customers to taste doesn’t qualify either. A bar that also happens to serve wine by the glass? Nope.

He follows up with a list of what he thinks makes a great wine bar, and promises some wine bar reviews on the site in the near future—those that do and don’t make the cut.

Apparently, from the chorus of agreement in his comments section, there are plenty of folks who want the real thing.

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