Foreign Legion *NEW*
105 S. 5th St., Mpls. • 612-333-0505 ext. 300 • www.foreignlegion-mpls.com
We are so over the speakeasy aesthetic. But this stylish wine bar wears it well. The Brasserie Zentral team’s casually cool bar is an underrated date spot and midweek hangout. Nibble from cheese and/or charcuterie boards while sipping ace wine guy Nicolas Giraud’s selections.
Don’t be intimidated by Foreign Legion’s vague cocktail list. If the names aren’t familiar, it’s worth inquiring about the lesser known classics (listed only by base spirit) dotting the menu. They may not last much longer, so grab a Jungle Bird or Penicillin while you can. (105 S. 5th St., Mpls.)
25 E. 26th St., Mpls. • 612-758-0113 • www.gystmpls.com
This wine, er, “fermentation” bar serves as an evening launchpad, where a glass or shared bottle accompanies cheese plates and other fermented bites. A substantial wine list, featuring 15 or so by-the-glass options, is bolstered by kombuchas and rarely seen ciders and meads, which make up for a small beer roster.
Louie’s Wine Dive *NEW*
800 W. Lake St., Mpls. • 612-824-3483 • www.louieswinedive.com
For a chain bar, this Uptown vino hangout has a surprising neighborhood-y feel. An open kitchen invites guests to the chef’s counter where a respectable happy hour encourages lingering ($5 for a hefty 8-ounce wine pour). Meanwhile, non-locals can appreciate the ironically nondive-y parlor’s free underground parking.
Beaujo’s Wine Bar & Bistro
This endearing, snug little wine bar doesn’t feel out of place at boutique-laden 50th & France. The homey bistro is perfect for a relaxed date night, romantically lit without feeling drowsy. Offering half-glasses and flights facilitates sampling, but those unafraid of commitment can grab a bottle (or at least a full glass). (4950 France Av. S., Edina • 952-922-8974 • www.beaujos.net.)
Bluestem Bar & Table
Bluestem is home to a bunch of SOBs. We’re talking about sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines, of course. French Meadow Bakery & Cafe opened this adjacent vino bar with the same sustainable ethos. Wine aside, the cozy and funky hangout with an aqua tile bar features a respectable craft-heavy tap list and happy hour bar bites you don’t have to regret the next day. (2610 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. • 612-870-7855 • www.bluestembarminneapolis.com.)
Kings Wine Bar
Instead of just frosty mugs with someone to serve ’em, occasionally a bar can become a true community center, a “third space,” the place you go when work is done and the walls are closing in on you at home. Where hospitality is, well, hospitable and lingering is encouraged. Kings is that place. Your home away from home. With better wine. (4555 Grand Av. S., Mpls. • 612-354-7928 • www.kingsmpls.com.) (Mecca Bos)
Lucia’s Wine Bar
Take all of the Parisian charm of the legendary Lucia’s restaurant, the simply elegant vibe and the understated beauty — and make drinking wine the point. The postage-stamp wine bar is that place you want to stumble on during your European vacation, and never leave. Beautiful people in candlelit bohemian simplicity, free-flowing elixir of the gods, and some spiced nuts and olives for good measure. (1432 W. 31st St., Mpls. • 612-825-1572 • www.lucias.com/winebar) (M.B.)
Terzo Vino Bar
Terzo’s formidable wine roster travels the length of the Italian peninsula, but at its heart is an emphasis on the full-bodied wines of the Piedmont region. This Broders’ spinoff both encourages and rewards curiosity, with nearly 50 ever-changing by-the-glass options, sold in 3- and 6-ounce pours at competitive prices. (2221 W. 50th St., Mpls. • 612-925-0330 • www.broders.com. (Rick Nelson)
Toast Wine Bar
When you’ve got wine on your mind, head to this hidden Warehouse District den of fine vinos and smart snackers for pairing. You’ll find true gems and thoughtfully curated listings to please any oenophile’s sophisticated palate. (415 N. 1st St., Mpls. • 612-333-4305 • www.toastwinebarandcafe.com.) (M.B.)