It’s easy to wine and dine in Nashville — Photo courtesy of iStock / gorodenkoff
Perhaps no city in the country makes it easier to get a drink in your hand than Nashville, and that includes a solid glass of wine. Many of the best wine lists in town lean natural, with organic and biodynamic bottles chosen to pair with locally-sourced, eco-conscious meal ingredients.
Gracious service is a given at these points of interest for wine lovers – restaurants, a wine shop and even a winery – where the staff is enthusiastic to point out gems. Here are 10 places in neighborhoods around town to enjoy a glass, from busy downtown spots to comfortable residential hideaways.
Experience excellent service at the bar, which offers dual seating options: inside the glossy and fresh restaurant and outside along the riverfront, complete with French bistro chairs and a generous spritz selection for happy hour.
Rutledge Hill is a stone’s throw from busy Broadway, but it presents Nashville style in approachable elegance with flawless and friendly service. And it’s where you’ll find Husk, conceptualized by James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock.
Executive Chef Katie Coss and manager and sommelier Nicolette Anctil lead a Southern-true menu featuring local suppliers with names that roll off the tongue like poetry. A special treat for wine geeks: the list is organized by soil type.
Woodland Wine Merchant
Proprietor of Woodland Wine Merchant, Will Motley has a deft touch sourcing natural and sustainable wines and a knack for hospitality, encouraging visitors to browse tidy shelves loosely organized by style rather than region.
A cool atmosphere and well-crafted bottles for every budget will install wine geek enthusiasm in anyone, even the folks that linger around the craft beer and spirits section at the back. Check the website for tasting events, happening regularly.
Rolf and Daughters
Under the guidance of chef Philip Krajeck (also of Folk), Rolf and Daughters was tagged as Bon Appetit’s No. 3 Best New Restaurant in America in 2013 and the publication praised: “Chef Philip Krajeck may have been put on earth to make pasta.”
The bustling mostly-communal dining room is edged by a happening bar and the wine list has a cool handful of by-the-glass options as well as bottles of purity from around the world.
If in the Sylvan Park neighborhood on a nice day, get a seat at the patio at Miel where chef Andrew Coins and proprietor Seema Prasad have made pristine, organic ingredients the main event.
Wines on the list are rotated to pair seasonally with the menu, so ask your server for recommendations. Artful desserts and charming service bring whimsy to a sophisticated setting.
At Folk, natural wines are the backbone of culture. The menu even includes a mission statement on the restaurant’s view of what defines natural.
Chef Philip Krajeck (also at Rolf and Daughters) earned Folk a spot on the Bon Appetit Top 50 Best New Restaurants in America list in 2018 and was recognized as a 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.
Located in the leafy and hip Germantown neighborhood, Henrietta Red earned a spot as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2018, led by chef Julia Sullivan and general manager and sommelier Allie Poindexter.
Sullivan is also a 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast. The restaurant’s generous raw bar concept is complemented by “vegetable-forward” dishes and a wood-burning oven.
This 24-seat restaurant with a “little bar” exclusively for restaurant guests also has a “big bar” for those that aren’t there for dinner. Chef Josh Habiger is a 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast, and his Bastion menu changes with the season but always features local suppliers.
Belle Meade Winery
Belle Meade Plantation made history as a breeder of American Thoroughbreds and this restored property provides escape for history nuts with a thirst for the genteel.
Belle Meade Winery’s tasting room is located on-site. However, wines are made with fruit sourced from around the country, including a release made from muscadine, one of America’s true native grape species.
Nashville Wine and Food Festival
Each spring since 2014, Nashville residents and visitors have gathered at the Nashville Food and Wine Festival, featuring 50+ wineries from around the world, 20 local restaurants, 10 breweries, plus an Artisan Market. Proceeds benefit another regional gem, the Nashville Symphony.