Sipping on wine and munching on small plates in Knoxville’s wine bars
A rapidly growing segment of the population has found wine bars a cozy and comfortable place to indulge in the fruits of the vine. From curious novice to established expert, East Tennessee wine lovers are piling into new and established haunts searching for knowledge and the perfect glass of vino…but also the cocktails, food, and fun.
Van Edom’s Wine Bar, Beer & Tapas
Not many businesses in Knoxville can say they deliver service with a Belgian flair. Bart and Haley Van Edom have curated an extensive beer and wine menu from around the world, but Bart is most proud of his collection of Belgian beers and logoed goblets. A Belgian twist on southern food brings you delectable parmesan truffle frites (Pro Tip: Don’t say French Fries here), and the more adventurous Flemish stew slow cooked in Trappist beer. With Bart’s background in chemistry, he has a special understanding of wine that will help him keep only the best of the best in the rack. With a high ceiling highlighting an exquisite chandelier, Van Edom’s is world class and just down the street in the Markets at Choto.
Farragut: 12344 S. Northshore Drive | (931) 319-9017
The Double S Wine Bar
A wine bar that clears the century-old wood floor to make room for Salsa dancing has got to be the spot to be. Double S is on the fringe of the Old City, but definitely part of the new wave of wine bars. Offering live jazz, Argentine tango lessons, countless wine options, and gourmet cheeses, and desserts, Double S offers a cozy atmosphere in an historic Knoxville location. Owner Steve’s extensive knowledge of wine is never overwhelming to the newbies; you leave feeling as if you’ve learned something about fermented fruit. My cheese platter was divine and perfectly paired with a red wine that was full bodied and aromatic. Pro Tip: The best place in town to listen to Sinatra and Armstrong in Knoxville is here.
Downtown: 129 S. Gay Street | (865) 244-5117
Water into Wine
As someone just tipping his toe into wine, figuratively mind you, Water Into Wine was going to ease me in gently. Educated servers, a certified mixologist, and an owner always smiling and gently prodding you to taste something you’ve never heard of—like Prosecco strained through blueberry skins—my experience was educational and phenomenal. And that’s even before the food hit the table. You are amongst friends, even if you’ve not met anyone, and the staff at Water Into Wine make the entire experience thrilling. Tens of thousands of bottles of wine and cocktails since 2016 has Water Into Wine Farragut’s top spot. Pro Tip: Brûléed Brie. Hard to type, so easy to devour.
Farragut: 607 N. Campbell Station Road | (865) 392-1586
Diamond Jack Wine Bar
Diamond Jack’s slogan on their website: Elevated Bar Food, Extensive Wine List, Consistent Vibe. Allow me to add to that: Perfect Cocktails. And if we’re being honest, I drank no wine at Diamond Jack. Maybe if Sasha wasn’t a certified mixologist and wasn’t so proud of the vast array of bourbon and didn’t make the perfect Perfect Manhattan, I would have gotten to the wine. Well, the second ingredient, vermouth, is wine, so I guess I did. Who knew it would pair so perfectly with the Wagyu Beef Hotdog on the menu. Honestly, it was a perfect evening of culinary, cocktails and conversation, and owner Micah brings the Blackberry Farm experience to your table in the most satisfying way.
Maryville: 298 Highland Avenue | (865) 203-9602
Blue Slip Winery
Located in the historic Southern Railway Station, Blue Slip transports you to the early 1900’s. Down a long flight of stairs and to the back of the depot, you almost feel like you’re slipping into a prohibition era speak-easy. This uniquely elegant facility offers a beautiful tasting bar, ballrooms for events, and plenty of free on-site parking. How often do you get a glass of wine poured for you under a National Register of Historic Places sign? Owner Jeff would rather have his wine photographed than himself, but with his encyclopedic knowledge of local wine and contracts with local grape growers, Blue Slip offers the most unique experience in Knoxville wine tasting.
Old City: 300 West Depot Avenue | (865) 249-7808
I’ve never been to a wine bar in New York City, but Drink transports me to midtown Manhattan. This might just be a top spot for first dates as each table and seat at the bar is enrobed in muted lighting, which is fancy talk for dark. Like most wine bars, Drink’s cocktail list is vast with expert bartenders ready to concoct the perfect Manhattan. See? Transported. Responsibly sourced wine from around the world is prominently featured along with food from the adjacent Bistro By The Tracks, a long-time Knoxville favorite. Jazz night Thursday and Soulful Saturday make this one of the few places in town with consistent live music. Transport yourself to “Midtown Bearden” for an urbane and private wine bar experience.
Bearden: 215 Brookview Centre Way |. (865) 249-7544