Grape Expectations: The Haute 5 Wine Bars in Chicago

When drinking under the hot summer sun, you want a wine that’s light, fruity and airy to set the mood. Think Pinot Grigios and Roses to give you just the sweet, subtle flavors to complement a beautiful day, cleanse the palate and refresh your senses. Here are five spots that are spot on with their pairings.

Quartino Ristorante and Wine Bar

Quartino offers over 30 handpicked and lesser known wines from all regions of Italy, served by the carafe.  The  menu is organized by lights, mediums and full, so look to the light whites for the hot summer days to drift away. They’re tangy fruity, tingly and lean. Mmm, mmm good.

626 N. State St., Chicago


With renowned Wine Director Brian Duncan, Chef John Caputo & Proprietor Dan Sachs hand picking your flights, you know these experts won’t steer you wrong. The wine bar has 50 varieties served by the glass and even lets you create your own tasting flight to mix, match and sample whatever strikes your fancy. With groupings like “Sexy Reds” and “Well Traveled Whites,” they make experimentation fun.

339 N. Dearborn, Chicago


With one of the best cellars in Chicago featuring over 1,800 selections, Tru’s award-winning wine list features standouts from across the world, complemented by an extensive selection of liquor, specialty cocktails and an accomplished sommelier.

686 North Saint Clair St., Chicago

Charlie Trotter’s

Not only has Charlie Trotter’s won the hearts of foodies with their steaks, but their 1800 bottle collection has won the coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award and attained the James Beard Foundation’s Wine Service Award. List highlights include Burgundys, Bordeauxes and Californias,  balancing the great vintages of classic regions with to small-production, lesser known wineries.

816 W. Armitage, Chicago

Coco Pazzo

Coco Pazzo has an award-winning 200 bottle all-Italian wine list with over 20 wines available by the glass. Serious wine lovers will appreciate the breadth and depth offered in the Tuscan-focused selections, including those from the illustrious to the lesser known. Wine Director Tamra Weiss has compiled a selection that offers something for everyone  any season.

300 W. Hubbard, Chicago