Wine Bar vs Bar – What’s the Difference?

Wine Bar vs Bar – What’s the Difference?


There are plenty of types of places to have a drink – a bar, wine bar, restaurant, bistro, cocktail bar, but what can you expect from each of these places? Let’s compare the 2 basic and most confused – a wine bar vs a bar. Used synonymously, these can indeed be the very same thing. But if you are at a true wine bar, you’ll know it. And here’s how.

A true wine bar never asks if you’re drinking red or white. First off, if you’re eating something at the wine bar, you’ll have to decide on your food first and then choose your wine accordingly. Any real wine bar will cringe at you ordering a glass of Chardonnay with your steak. So, rule of thumb – if the wine bar asks if you will be eating before asking what you will be drinking, you’re at the right place.

A true wine bar will not look at you funny if you send your wine back. If you’ve been given a corked wine, not only should you send it back but you should never really have gotten that wine served to you in the first place. No true sommelier would allow such a wine travesty to take place in their wine bar.

A wine bar generally will have more than just Champagne on their list of sparkling wines. You should be able to order a Prosecco or Lambrusco. And no true wine bar will call any sparkling wine using the “faux generic name of champagne”. Just because it’s bubbly, doesn’t mean it’s made in France. Italians have a long tradition of drinking bubbly before dinner, so call your drink by its right name.

A true wine bar will be able to give you background info about the bottle of wine you are drinking. Who are the producers? What family does the wine come from? Where exactly was it produced and with what method? Is it a DOC/PDO wine? These are questions that any proper wine bar should be able to answer.

Now that you have an idea of what you should expect from a wine bar, go on out and have yourself a glass or two at your local wine bar!