Wine bars have started to evolve away from the standard “bar” definition. With an increased number cropping up with full-fledged, high-end food programs, the lot of them have perhaps become more synonymous with what we would consider a restaurant with an extensive wine list than what we would consider a traditional wine bar. After all, at most other bars — if they offer any food at all — it’s mainly just light sustenance to soak up some alcohol as you belly up and enjoy a drink or two.
With such a frequent focus on the culinary, many guests who may just be looking for a drinking experience could feel like these “wine bars” aren’t the place for them. Beyond that, with many wine bar owners seeming to be focused on promoting their establishments in wine-only spaces, newer wine bars are struggling to generate the same excitement surrounding their openings as cocktail bars or taprooms.
After all, part of operating a successful wine bar — or bar program in general — is having something that is open and accessible to the average drinker, while also having something unique to impress the geeks.
On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach react to a recent kerfuffle surrounding a list of new bars in New York that didn’t include any wine bars. The three discuss whether or not wine bars actually see themselves as part of the bar community, and whether their frequent focus on food creates confusion for guests. Tune in for more.
Zach is drinking: Bale Breaker Homegrown No. 11 Fresh Hop IPA
Joanna is drinking: Corn is My Safe Word at Gunshow
Adam is drinking: Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin Premier Cru Chablis