Our 10 Favorite Wine Bars Across the South | Listen

By: Amber Chase

Raise your glass and fork at these Southern wine bars with menus that can’t be missed

Wine has always been an element for culinary communing in the South. Bottles are corked, shared, swirled, and paired, often defining and exposing underlying notes and flavors in dishes. While wine culture has never been absent from the South, connoisseurs are beginning to fixate on wine bars where natural wines flow abundantly, caviar is served with Lays chips, and the small plates flowing from the kitchen rival those of the finest local restaurants. We’ve compiled our list of 10 favorite wine bars across the South, where the bottle selections are pristine, but the food is just as noteworthy.

Owners of REALLY REALLY NICE WINES in front of their wine bar

Wine Bars with Pristine Pours and Plates

A bottle being pulled at REALLY REALLY NICE WINES

Really Really Nice Wines | New Orleans

Tucked off Magazine Street in New Orleans, Really Really Nice Wines is a neighborhood wine bar pouring natural wines for the NOLA community. Their sleek bar offers a rotating selection of natural wines by the glass to be paired with elevated bar snacks like customizable charcuterie, house-marinated olives, and their signature duck fat popcorn topped with curry-kaffir lime or sea salt. Really Really Nice Wines also serves as a community hub for various workshops, tastings, and restaurant pop ups with cuisine ranging from dim sum to omakase-style sushi. 

Little Pep | Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Opening in early May, Little Pep is proud to be Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s first freestanding wine bar. A vibrant red exterior accented with playful pops of yellow ushers guests into Little Pep’s ethos of being “a wine bar for anyone.” Grab a glass at their bar, but stick around for pasta service, because their small plates are just as prominent as their pours. Little Pep will house a selection of bottles and pantry items but also encourages shopping at Fancy Groceries, a neighboring shop across the street dedicated to slow fashion, homewares, and coffee. 

interiors at  Bad Idea wine bar

Bad Idea | Nashville 

From Nashville’s esteemed sommelier Alex Burch, Bad Idea is a neighborhood wine bar that is service-forward while centering on wine education. Seeking to create a space where wine feels less intimidating, Burch selects varieties and regions with hopes to intrigue and educate guests. Set in a renovated church sanctuary, the design of Bad Idea is stunning with a horseshoe bar in the center and geometric curvature throughout. Their accompanying menu features shareable plates inspired by Lao cuisine for flavorful and unexpected pairings. 

Leo’s House of Thirst | Asheville 

An all-black, 900-square-foot building on Haywood Street in West Asheville, Leo’s is known for being a hub for fine wines and fine times. While their interiors are bright and inviting, their patio is sought after for picturesque fireside dining or for sharing a bottle under the string lights. Leo’s is open all day and pours a curated selection of wines with intentional sourcing. With small bites like their craveable deviled eggs plus a full dinner service, you can settle in and stay awhile.

small plate dishes at LATE AIR wine bar

Late Air Wine | Savannah 

Right on the corner of Bull Street in Savannah, Late Air Wine marks a charming neighborhood spot for natural wine and seasonally inspired small plates. Their rustic interiors incorporate subtle nods to mid-century design, making the space inviting from aperitifs through dinner service. In addition to classic bites like sourdough toast and anchovies, sample seasonal crudos, Georgia shrimp with ramps and coconut, or olive oil cake with lemon and strawberry.  

Bar Rollins | Charleston

Known by their endearing catchphrase, “Bar Rollins loves you!”, Bar Rollins is community-centric wine bar to its core. With the eclectic and approachable vibe of a friend’s back patio, guests will find a large selection of natural wines, lo-fi records spinning, abundant outdoor seating, and a vibe that says “sit, stay longer than you think you should.” Bar Rollins’ menu rotates constantly with small bites ushered out from their own kitchen or pop-ups from friends like Big Tent Pizza, Tully’s, and even guests like Lou from Nashville. Our tip: Come for apéro hour, stay for the weekend.

Bar à Vins | Charlotte

In Charlotte’s NODA neighborhood, Bar à Vins has quickly garnered attention as a hotspot. With a global selection of bottles and glasses, the wine bar keeps a lively curation and their staff is always eager to discuss offerings and guide decisions. The space is filled with natural light and rustic fixtures, with plenty of nooks to duck into for reading or close conversation. From Castelvetrano olives to classic Lays with caviar, there are plenty of options for casual noshing with your favorite glass. 

interiors at lucian wine and books

Lucian Books and Wine | Atlanta

Connecting the beauty of two habits of slowness, books and wine, Lucian Books and Wine is a must-visit spot in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Towering archways filled with curated covers lean over modern booths and artfully designed tables, creating a full sensory experience from design to food and drink. Lucian has a seasonally selected wine list with extensive offerings including apéritifs and digestifs. Their menus serve elevated plates like escargot with pesto, pappardelle with sausage ragu, roast duck with foie gras and ramps, and chocolate budino with pistachio.

Fish dish with Bread and Wine at Lenoir

Lenoir | Austin 

Named for a Texas-grown grape variety, Lenoir offers farm-to-table dining alongside their wine list. Helmed by husband and wife duo Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, Lenoir boasts an extensive wine garden where guests can enjoy a communal sipping experience. Menu highlights include blue corn and pecan hushpuppies, semolina linguine, and koji-cured wagyu coulotte. Wine pairings are also offered inside with the option to accompany a five-course chef’s tasting.

La Cave | Charleston

Set to open in early Summer, La Cave will be the sister bar to acclaimed King Street staple Félix Cocktails et Cuisine. Design for the wine bar and lounge stems from the South of France with touches of lavender alongside a blonde-wood-coffered ceiling. La Cave, translated to “the cellar” will exclusively pour French wines, high-end whiskies, and cordials to be paired with a curated selection of shareable small plates. 


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