Houston's Top 10 Wine Bars (2013 Edition)
3. The Tasting Room
Photo by Houston Press The comfortable Tasting Room is a spot where one could...taste...all day long.
The Tasting Room now has four locations across Houston in an ever-expanding effort to keep local wine drinkers satisfied. Its tagline is "A comfortable place to get serious about wine," and though the wine may be the real deal, there's nothing stuffy or overly "serious" about the place. It's a casual but sophisticated spot to indulge in wine by the glass served at decent prices and comfort food with a gourmet twist.
2. 13 Celsius
For the past several years, we've named 13 Celsius the Best Wine Bar in Houston, and for good reason. The bartenders here are some of the best in town, and they're able to figure out exactly what customers who may not be well-versed in wine are seeking. As the name suggests, wine is stored at the ideal drinking temperature, and wine-based cocktails add some whimsy to the average glass of vino. On Sundays, all open bottles are discounted to make room for new stock, so you know you won't be drinking something that's beginning to oxidize. The small bites offered up to complement the wine aren't too shabby, either, and the rustic look of the revamped 1920 building in Midtown almost makes you feel as if you could be drinking in an old-school European dive.
The new kid on the block is quickly becoming an old favorite. It's the only example of a hip, New York-style wine bar in Houston, but it's devoid of pretension, as evidenced by the lack of complicated menu items and by a wine list headed "I just want a damn wine list." The list is divided by flavor profile rather than by type or country of origin, which makes it easy to find something "medium, spicy, earthy and potentially funny" if that's what you're looking for. The simple but high-quality food is part of what sets Camerata apart from other wine bars in town that seek to pack too many concepts into one space. The elegant but streamlined decor in shades of gray makes the colors of the wine and food truly pop.
2433 Barlett St., Houston, TX