THIS STORY IS PART OF OUR 2022 BAR GUIDE. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THAT FEATURE.
605 W. VIRGINIA ST.
This Walker’s Point wine and spirits retailer conjures up an early 20th century library, an homage to the owners’ grandmothers (both were librarians). Seating areas set with vintage upholstered furniture are fitting alongside the old oak bar and exposed brick walls. Thursday nights feature regular 6 p.m. tastings, most often of wine. More focused events like food and wine pairings and bourbon tastings happen two-three times per month. Trying before buying is how Thelma Carol rolls – at the bar, they also offer glass pours of wine, beer and spirits.
577 E. ERIE ST.
The owners take the familiar learning-plus-tasting approach to selling wine, but here it feels fresh. They serve both the wine novice and the connoisseur, offering a quick grab-and-go room as well as a wine library for leisured browsing. The tasting room, open during shop hours, allows guests to order glass pours of wines featured in 2A’s monthly flights. No corkage fee for on-site bottle consumption, too.
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800 E. POTTER AVE.
With a planned move to a Kinnickinnic Avenue space double its current size, Nonfiction will add a wine bar (for by-the-glass quaffing) and patio. All the more room to love on wines made without additives (herbicides, pesticides) and few to no preservatives. The cloudy appearance and funky flavor are trademarks, and if you’re new to them, it really helps to have an expert ease you on in. That’s what this also-funky little shop excels at.
275 W. WISCONSIN AVE.
An offshoot of Strange Town vegan restaurant, the bottle shop kiosk at 3rd Street Market Hall shines its light on low-intervention (aka, natural) wines, specifically from under-represented grapes and small-production family farms. You can score something fairly niche here, and the little wine bar, serving glass pours, has a surprisingly intimate feel in the bustling market.
Vino Third Ward: No cork fee for bottled wines (typically $6)
This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s December issue.
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