Best wine bars

Enjoy wine and cheese, sauvignon blanc and other types of wine from Chicago's best sommeliers at the city's best wine bars

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Photograph: Martha Williams

Best wine bars in Chicago: DiSotto Enoteca

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Photograph: Martha Williams

Best wine bars in Chicago: Pop for Champagne

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Best wine bars in Chicago: RM Champagne

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MBA

Best wine bars in Chicago: Rootstock

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Photograph: Clayton Hauck

Best wine bars in Chicago: Telegraph

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Photograph: Luning Photo

Best wine bars in Chicago: Webster's Wine Bar

Handcrafted cocktails and local brews are big in Chicago bars, but wine is still as popular as ever. That might have something to do with the fact that these days, sommeliers aren't afraid to think outside the box, from wine cocktails to wine on tap. Even the food goes beyond the typical wine and cheese plates. Get ready to sip and swirl at some of the best wine spots in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best bars in Chicago

DiSotto Enoteca

Old World wine list and Mediterranean small plates: Scott Harris has nailed the formula at Purple Pig and Davanti Enoteca, so why mess with a good thing? Admittedly, the scales at DiSotto (in the cellar-like basement of Francesca’s on Chestnut) tip toward drinking—the food is limited to antipasti, bruschette, cheeses and salumi. But when you’re spreading thick ricotta and fragments of honeycomb on toasted bread or sampling warm, marinated olives or indulging in the toast with a truffled egg yolk at its center, the appeal of this wine bar can’t help but feel unending.

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Streeterville

Pops for Champagne

This sleek, shiny bar in Tree Studios boasts—as the name suggests—the city’s best selection of bubbles. Most of it doesn’t come cheap (it never does, honey), but you’re not just paying for the booze—you’re paying for some of the most educated bartenders in town. Take advantage of their knowledge and ask lots of questions. And when you’ve had enough education (and wine), head downstairs to Pops’ cocktail bar, WaterShed.

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Chicago

RM Champagne Salon

Critics' pick

You enter through an unmarked alleyway, glowing strings of lights leading you to a cobblestone courtyard and ornate parlor that resemble a Parisian hideaway. You forget where you are. You order glasses of Champagne you’ve never heard of, you gently unhinge oysters from their shells, and when dessert comes, your selection is plucked from a fanciful cart, replete with bite-size macaroons and caramels and marshmallows. Heaven? Who needs it when there’s RM?

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West Loop

Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar

Critics' pick

The novella-length menu at this low-key alcove contains loving and helpful descriptions of an impressive selection of wines and beers. And thanks to the array of small plates served until 1am, this is the kind of warm, simple neighborhood place you’ll never want—or need—to leave.

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Humboldt Park

Webster’s Wine Bar

Critics' pick

We’ve missed many a movie because we stopped by this funky wine bar across the street from Webster Place theater for a pre-show cocktail. When tasting pours are this affordable (and interesting), we pretend it’s for educational purposes and stay all night, soaking up the dark, Bohemian vibe and munching on tasty cheese plates. We’ll catch the movie on Netflix. Update: In July 2014, the owners of Webster's Wine Bar moved the bar to the old Telegraph location, in Logan Square.

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Logan Square

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