Gayot has provided a list of 10 wine bars their reviewers think are the best in Seattle. This list includes (in alphabetical order) Bin on the Lake, Black Bottle, Bricco della Regina Anna, Grand Cru Mixologie Lounge, Portalis, Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, Sip Wine Bar and Restaurant, The Sitting Room, Smash Wine Bar and Bistro, and 10 Mercer.
Decor ranges from open and casual to low-lit and romantic. Some are trendy in the ‘New American’ style (quoting Gayot) like old factories and loft apartments, with high ceilings and cement floors. Others provide an intimate and classic feel, featuring the dark colors of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Along with oysters, pork loin roast, and culinary burgers (topped with gourmet sauces and smelly cheeses), one menu item is the ‘wine flight’. For a set price, diners are given small tastes of three offerings from their wine rack, all themed.
For example, Smash provides one for Pinot Gris, another for sparkling wines, a Malbec trio, and tributes to Oregon and Washington wineries. Sip forms theirs around Syrah, Pinot Noir, and mixed reds.
Other establishments focus on cellaring and serving drinks from the Northwest and, say, Italy (Bricco). Riesling Efeste from Washington is sold alongside Prosecco Brut Borgoluce from Italy plus some French, Austrian and other European varieties.
In the Spanish tradition, ‘small plates’ are often on the menu. ‘Olives and nuts’ was one tempting selection. Bruschetta is popular, or flatbreads in Mexican or Italian style. Expect to pay more for your starters. They rival the cost of an entree in some instances. These frequently feature decadent and complex combinations. One example is the ‘Truffled Oregon White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese with Black Truffles’ from Smash. After a plate of that, my homemade mac ‘n’ cheese might taste like cardboard. Maybe. It depends on how you feel about truffles.
Keep an eye on these wine bars if you live in Seattle as some also run tastings and culinary classes. Smash will be serving the wines of Mark Ryan Winery from 5-7 pm June 29th.