Going au naturel hasn’t looked this sexy since Playboy in the ’70s; and not unlike the venerable men’s mag, the natural wine movement has helped usher in a new set of ethical values. Riffing off a Parisian boîte of the 1920s, Henry Rich (Rucola) and Tom Kearney (Farm on Adderley) join forces behind June’s marble bar to convince tipplers that nostalgia tastes as good as it looks. Their wine selection, firmly sourced from the fringe of the non-interventionist movement, wouldn’t haven’t been out of place during the flapper era. Patrons enticed inside by the wood barrel ceiling and dim lights can sample selections spanning both Europe (Spain, Czech Republic) and the U.S. (California, Finger Lakes). Small plates aspire beyond typically mundane wine bar fare to include smoked-trout mousseline and acorn-squash flatbread.
Wine bars have well and truly shaken off their outmoded image as hushed preserves of swirling, sniffing (and snobbish) oenophiles. Lists once stacked with blue chips now accurately reflect the diversity of the global wine world. Connoisseurs and casual sippers alike gather at vino-centric establishments for a glass or several, often accompanied by creative fare that aspires beyond the traditional meat and cheese board. Some of these multifunctional drinking destinations even serve—gasp—craft beer. Read on for our picks across the country, from the best wine bars in NYC to San Francisco’s top tippling spots.