Below are a few restaurants that Houston wine aficionados might want to visit. Though prices are likely higher than what you usually spend on a comparable bottle at a store, just think of this as something you might be at the restaurant, where prices are necessarily more expensive. You are trying to help the restaurant, after all.
- a’Bouzy – The fantastic array of champagne that is terrifically priced is now 10% off with a food order. The food is no great shakes here, but it’s certainly worth stomaching for the discount.
- Amalfi – One of the city’s best Italian restaurant is offering their mostly Italian list at 25% off. Unfortunately, the list is currently not shown online.
- Bravery Chef Hall – The wine bar at Houston’s best food hall has a pretty decent selection of wines, both from the New and Old World and even some on tap.
- Brennan’s – A limited selection, but pretty nice wines and pretty decent values: Hexamer Riesling ($24), Le Suffrene Bandol Rosé ($28), and Jean Louis Chave Cotes du Rhone ($30).
- Georgia James – Wine Director Matthew Pridgen has long curated some of my favorite lists now here, One Fifth and UB Preserv, and now every wine on this list, if available, has the following discounts: one to five bottles are 20% off; six to eleven bottles are 30% off; and a dozen and more are 40% off.
- Giacomo's - Has reopened and wines from its excellent and quite interesting list of mostly Italian and French labels that are priced more gently than most restaurants is even 25% now for take-away.
- Riel – This Montrose stalwart has an eclectic fairly wide-ranging list.
- Theodore Rex – The funky-edged list from local wine star Justin Vann – also responsible for the wines at Public Services, Squable, and Penny Quarter – is available for 15% off.
Though one of my favorite wine bars, and cocktail bars, for that matter, Public Services, stopped selling wine for takeaway after an initial go at it, and the slick La Grande Rue in the Heights shuttered, hopefully temporarily, earlier in April, there are still a number of laudable wine bars and wine shops to frequent:
Wine bars and shops
- Avondale – A restaurant with one city’s most underappreciated chefs – the very skilled and experienced Olivier Ciesielski a former executive chef at Tony’s – this does double duty as a wine shop with some neat selections, some with some age on them.
- Camerata – This serious wine bar is kind of pricey, but there are certainly some nice wines, and a fine place for enological exploration.
- D&Q Mini Mart – Known more for its beer choices, especially Belgian and hop-laden, there is a small but cool selection of wines here that make it well worth keeping an imbiber’s radar.
- French Country Wines – Offering a small selection of small producers largely from the south of France and the Loire, there is also an excellent Burgundy producer and welcome wines from Bordeaux, often the Right Bank and south of the city. Since the shutdown, the store has been offering a couple of daily discounts that can be tough to ignore. And, nicely, for retail sales, it has absorbed the tariffs on French wines.
- The Heights Grocer – This shop on N. Main bordering the Heights has a smallish but interesting selection that can appeal to the refined, eclectic palate of the nearby well-healed. Prices aren’t bad; there are even a few under $20.
- Houston Wine Merchant – The city’s best wine little wine store is just open for curbside pickup, so you’ve got to do your browsing beforehand online.
- Light Years – Specializing in natural wines, the labels will likely be much more unfamiliar, the wines more variable – and typically not-so-cheap – but this small house-based shop near the Menil can be a place to explore, and it offers day deliveries that are free on orders above $60 inside the Loop.
- TuttiLilli – An Italian counterpart to French Country Wines a few doors down from it, this has a small collection of wines, mostly from different regions and different names.
- 13 Celsius – My favorite wine bar in Houston, and the best, I believe. The expansive selection is very well-chosen and now 35% of the previous menu prices, which weren’t that bad at all for a wine bar. One example, Raina Grechetto is $29.25 here versus $36 at Camerata.
- Vinology – About 350 labels, mostly from the Old World, this is an enticing stop for wine lovers not far from the Upper Kirby and Rice Village.