Texas is beer country, but even before the cocktail scene exploded, wine bars were offering an alternative, providing us with a less-rowdy atmosphere to participate in the cult of Bacchus. Here are our steady favorites.
Named after the highway that runs through Napa Valley, 20nine has expanded its California focus to include wines from around the world. The kitchen, now under Chef Scott Boone, offers a fine seasonal menu for pairings. Duck breast with porcini? A pinot noir from Burgundy will do just fine. Owner Troy Fullmer is usually on hand to offer suggestions, but don't forget to try the pizza.
255 E Basse, (210) 798-9463, 20ninewine.com
THE BUBBLE ROOM
Catering to the 30-and-up crowd, this effervescent lady-centric lounge boasts a wide selection of champagne by the glass, off-the-beaten-path wines, sake cocktails, and even beer for non-believers (hey, it's got bubbles, too). It's perfect for private parties, guilty, girly pleasures, and unwinding with the gals after a long day at the office.
1846 N Loop 1604 W, (210) 479-9463,
COPA WINE BAR
Wine cellar meets rec room with snacks and cleverly named flights, like "Pinot (Noir) Envy" and "Call Me a Cab." It makes a great date night for any demographic.
19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 495-2672,
MAX'S WINE DIVE
Max's Wine Dive is the last word in bacchanalia... with style. Even unsuspecting dishes, like the truffled egg sandwich, will expand your mind and delight your soul.
340 E Basse, Ste 101, (210) 444-9547,
ZINC BISTRO & BAR
When the dinner shift winds down, servers from all over town descend upon Zinc to unwind with good company in stylish surroundings. Aside from boasting SA's finest late-night food and wine menu, Zinc does "downtown" better than anywhere else, and the patio is one of the area's best-kept secrets. Champagne and
pizza at 11 p.m.? We'll meet you there.
207 N Presa, (210) 224-2900, zincwine.com