Sip & Chill: 11 chic places to wine down with friends

Whether you're planning a relaxing girls night out or a romantic date night, here are some places to include during your next toast of the town. Raise your glass to these great spots for wine-lovers.

Photo courtesy: Sam Hanna

Claret Wine & Cocktail Bar

Claret Wine & Cocktail Bar brings chic spot with window views and an outdoor patio in the Lower Garden District. The extensive drink menu features more than 25 wines by the glass, 30 domestic and imported craft beers and seasonal craft cocktails. Claret also features a wide-ranging charcuterie program planned by executive chef Marcus Woodham. The 1,250 square-foot interior can seat approximately 45 people, while the patio area offers an additional 62 seats. The outdoor patio area will also soon get a retractable roof with both heating and cooling capabilities, a spokesperson for the bar said.

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Guests can enjoy wine in a fun and relaxed setting. Photo Credit: Brandt Vicknair

Copper Vine

Copper Vine wine pub invites guests to a landmark building with a lush, outdoor patio. The neighborhood wine bar in the Central Business District offers a culinary and cultural experience aimed to demystify wine in a fun and relaxed setting. For the wine program at Copper Vine, guests can select from 30 wines on tap, available by-the-half-glass, glass, carafe and bottle.

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Photo courtesy: Bacchanal Wine

Bacchanal Wine

A trip to the Ninth Ward introduces you to Bacchanal’s neighborhood Mediterranean backyard party with a New Orleans twist. Wine and dine in the courtyard amidst a lively mix of jazz music, gourmet food and drinks. If you stumble upon a newfound wine, you’re in luck. Check out their Old World wine shop, and bring a bottle home. Photo courtesy: Bacchanal Wine

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Photo courtesy: WINO

Wine Institute of New Orleans (W.I.N.O.)

Finding the wine of your dreams gets a little easier at this self-service wine bar in the Warehouse District. This spot makes wine tasting a cool, unique experience with walls lined with 120 wines on tap. Help yourself to 1, 2 or 4 oz. pours. Trade in your ID for your “tasting card” to start your tab. Pair your glass with small bites or a cheese plate available for purchase at the rear. And be confident in any advice or lessons you might receive … it IS an insititute. Photo courtesy: WINO

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Photo courtesy: The Delachaise

The Delachaise

The historic streetcar and beautiful mansions along St. Charles Avenue create the perfect backdrop for a great night at The Delachaise. You can’t go wrong with a pretty solid wine selection, along with house wine specials. Take in the sights and sounds of Uptown New Orleans while sipping on the outdoor patio, or journey indoors for a cozy atmosphere. The spot can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so be prepared. If you’re craving a bite, make sure you hop on the “Pommes Frites” fried in goose fat and served with malt vinegar aioli and spicy peanut satay. It’s a house favorite among patrons. Photo courtesy: The Delachaise

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Photo courtesy: Swirl Wine Bar

Swirl Wine Bar & Market

Get your chance to learn from industry experts at this cozy neighborhood spot in Bayou St. John. Find something new and interesting to try at one of their regular tasting events. Expand your wine knowledge with various presentations from wine experts who stop by to interact with customers. Cap off your evening with small plates from neighbor eatery 1000 Figs. Photo courtesy: Swirl Wine Bar & Market

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Photo courtesy: Bayou Wine Garden

Bayou Wine Garden

Head over to this casual Mid-City neighborhood wine bar for fun with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. Get your fill with a large selection of wines with options by the glass, bottle, or carafe. The bar also features a wine-on-tap system with 32 rotating wines at lower price points. Plus it’s easy to keep everyone in your party happy. A bridge to adjoining sister bar, Bayou Beer Garden, offers even more food and drink options. Photo courtesy: Bayou Wine Garden

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Photo courtesy: Martin Wine Cellar

Martin Wine Cellar

This regional chain stands as a mainstay in the wine and spirits industry with locations on the North Shore, South Shore and in Baton Rouge. Their extensive collection of wine would charm any seasoned collector, and the calendar of events like “Free Friday Wine Tasting” could help any novice find a great new brand. Also, keep this place in mind for lunch and gifts. The spot usually draws a serious lunch crowd, and their gift baskets are a go-to for gift-giving. Photo courtesy: Martin Wine Cellar

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Photo courtesy: The Tasting Room

The Tasting Room

Hang out at this Magazine Street wine lounge with an Old World charm, perfect for an intimate gathering. Hop on their signature wine flights, featuring three half glasses. Pair your wine selections with a small plate or build a cheese and charcuterie board to share. You can also enjoy their happy hour offerings — or “Leisure Hour” as they call it. The deal usually features select wines for $5. Photo courtesy: The Tasting Room

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The wine list is grouped by palate at this chic and spacious Riverbend wine bar. This spot is known for great happy hours among the professional crowd and features live performances on Friday and Saturday nights. Indulge in a menu of small plates created by chef Aaron Burgau of Patois, while the knowledgeable staff can help you pair your meal with the perfect glass of wine. Its Oak Street location also makes this wine bar the perfect place to enjoy a great night out. You can walk to other places nearby if you feel like bar hopping or shopping around.

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Pearl Wine Co.

Affordable specials (including glasses for $5 on Wednesdays) and free wine tastings (Thursdays and Fridays) help this spot stand out from some of the rest. Throw in live music, cocktails, special private events, and you’ve got a great blend right in the heart of Mid-City. Photo courtesy: Pearl Wine Co.

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Are there other great places for wine-lovers? If you would like to let Nola Weekend know about any other cool spots , feel free to drop us a line.