For centuries people have gathered around the table, sharing stories and drinking wine, and today’s no different. A glass of wine is an ideal way to unwind, catch up with friends and relax. It’s even better when you’re not the one pouring it yourself. That’s why we’ve rounded up four intimately charming—and delicious—wine bars across the state. It’s time to start sipping.
A Drink with a View
The views at Glass – Wine Bar Kitchen at Ledges Hotel are hard to beat. The terrace is perched above a river gorge so close to the Paupack High Falls you almost feel like you’re in them. “People love that our venue is unique, secluded, modern, relaxing and has beautiful views of the waterfall from any of our decks,” says Sarah O’Fee, director of marketing for Settlers Hospitality, which manages the restaurant. Glass is part of the Ledges Hotel, a boutique hotel in Hawley with a stone exterior and plenty of patio space. The views and ambience are outstanding. The restaurant has a small plates concept, with dishes such as white tuna crudo and stuffed clams. As expected of a wine bar, some menu options even have specific wine pairings. On its 500-square-foot terrace, the wine bar can host 80 for a cocktail reception and 60 for a sit-down affair. Other meeting space inside the hotel can fit anywhere from 20 to 70. “Glass – Wine Bar Kitchen is a wonderful spot for a meeting, event or retreat,” says O’Fee. “Our historic hotel incorporates the history of the building with modern amenities and a gorgeous view of a waterfall.”
Around the World in 80 Wines
Drinking at Jet is a little like traveling the world. You can get a chenin blanc from South Africa, a rosé from California and a carménère from Chile. “Jet is your passport to global wines,” says Jill Weber, owner of the Philadelphiabased bar. “We cater to those looking for great wine and food in an intimate setting that is both casual and fun.” A professional archaeologist, Weber got her unique culinary tastes from working in places like Syria, Turkey and Italy. Here, you’ll find food like Spanish meatballs, shrimp gnocchi and muhammara, as well as plenty of meat and cheese boards. A 500-square-foot private lounge can be found on the lower level with space for about 20-25 guests. It has its own bar and bathroom, giving guests a more intimate experience. “Jet is the perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine and a plate of food,” says Weber. “The bar has a relaxed feel, cool vibe and is welcoming to all. We are a neighborhood space with a local clientele, but strangers are also welcomed, and quickly feel right at home.”
A Haven in the Mountains
It’s nearly impossible to walk past Main Street Wine Bar and not be charmed. Located in the Laurel Highlands, the restaurant sits in a quaint blue building with a wooden patio and large cream sign that boasts its name. Virginia Robertson opened Main Street five years ago after moving to the area full time. She loved the area so much, she decided to make a permanent move. “I have been coming to the mountains for 25 years and love the area,” says Robertson. “The wine bar has a great international wine list and a small but delightful food menu.” That small menu changes weekly, with matching wine flights. Options might include butternut squash wontons or pan-seared crab cakes. Main Street has two private rooms on its upper level. A dining room can seat 40 while the lounge holds 16. The entire main space on the lower level can seat 45 and is a perfect spot for a small, low-key affair. “We really are the place for intimate gatherings,” says Robertson.
Born from Film
Before you ask: Yes, the Allegheny Wine Mixer is named after the Catalina Wine Mixer scene in the 2008 movie “Stepbrothers.” But that’s not the only thing that makes this Pittsburgh wine bar stand out from other, possibly stuffy wine bars in the area. “People like that they can choose from a pretty eclectic wine list served by knowledgeable staff in a relaxed, unpretentious environment,” says Jamie Patten, owner. “The biggest compliment we get is that it feels like you’re in someone’s living room.” Gatherings at Allegheny Wine Mixer are designed to be intimate. At the front is a 12-seat bar with two tables and a corner booth in the back. The entire restaurant seats about 35 and does not close for events. “We keep our events small,” says Patten. “This allows us to work with the customer to provide a more personal experience that reflects their taste and personality.” Aside from wine, Allegheny serves cocktails and craft beer, and food such as cheeseboards, grilled cheese sandwiches and cured meats. “We don’t do a lot of events, so when we do, we tend to get excited to go the extra mile to make it a success,” says Patten. “I’d say we go a little overboard.”