Grape Expectations: The Haute 5 Wine Bars in Dallas

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Oh how true. Wine is a libation that lifts the spirit, as well as an avenue to impress a date (usually rambling off about tannins and berries works, FYI.) Although it’s easier in these sultry summer months to switch to Mojitos or Bud Light Lime (the Sunny Delight of beers), I encourage you to maintain a reputation as a distinguished wine drinker. Here’ s  a list of the Hautest wine bars in Dallas to enjoy on a hot day.

Chateau Wine Market

Just down the street from the hustle and bustle of Knox Street’s shopping area, Chateau Wine Market is a perfect resting place on a beautiful summer afternoon. With thousands of bottles in inventory and the rustic, European-style Bodega Bar featuring a cigar room and courtyard patio, you pretty much can’t go wrong with a visit and a few tastes. One of the several in-house sommeliers suggests you try The Prisoner, a thin, Cabernet-blend Zinfandel that is rich and jammy, a perfect partner to a serious barbecue sauce. As far as summer wines go, he suggests you stick to the Zins and away from the Pinot, as a Pinot Noir won’t warm as well and you’ll get a strong alcohol taste before too long.

Chateau Wine Market is located at 4514 Travis Street, Suite 101 in Dallas

Mercy Wine Bar

Their “Red Room,” an upstairs event space, has already become a swanky, subdued destination for all kinds of parties, and the wine selection is as hefty as it should be. With 100 by-the-glass options, the odds are you’ll find a flavor to please your palate at Mercy Wine Bar. A summer recommendation would be their Stinger Sauvignon Blanc, a Napa selection with grapefruit, melon and lime zest notes. Looking to be wined, dined and entertained? Mercy is your one-stop shop, serving plenty of appetizing dishes, like Butternut Squash Risotto and Ahi Tuna,  and a helping of nightly stage performers, ranging from musical talents to magicians.

Mercy Wine Bar is  located at 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 544 in Dallas

Cru: A Wine Bar

You know that wine is only half as good as it could be when it’s on its own. How it yearns to be with a comparable partner,  a veritable accomplice in flavor and complexity. Lucky for us, Cru offers more than just a cheese and tapas menu. From diver scallops to Kobe beef, choose a succulent dish to pair up with that perfect glass of Cab. Need an excuse to celebrate the weekend early? See them for half-price Champagne Thursdays. Just don’t let it go to your head.

Cru is located in the West Village Shopping Center, 3699 Mckinney Avenue Suite 107 in Dallas

Central 214

Okay so it’s not technically a wine bar, but I have yet to encounter another wine list divided up by “Women in Touch” (wines made or owned by the fairer sex,) “Don’t Mess with Texans” (locally made wine) as well as a list of organic/biodynamic wine. My personal favorite: the Benzinger (Note: not Beringer) “Tribute” Bioynamic Wine, a rich concoction of blackberry, nutmeg, dark chocolate and plum flavors. It’s a big wine that goes well with the big dishes Central 214 and Chef Blythe Beck are known for, even if you’re enjoying it under the stars on their newly renovated patio.

Central 214 is located at 5680 N. Central Expressway in Dallas at the Hotel Palomar

Times Ten Cellars

A Dallas fave, Times Ten Cellars is creating and maintaining winos with their Texas-made selections, available at retail stores and restaurants across Dallas. To get a sample from the source, check out their Dallas location which offers a lounge and daily tastings until midnight on the weekends. A suggestion for patio-swirling: their 2007 Gewurztraminer, a light, sweet wine with lychee, rose and passion fruit notes.

Times Ten Cellars is located at 6324 Prospect Avenue in Dallas