Milwaukee has always been known as a beer town, but there are plenty of people who prefer a nice glass of wine. The chilly Wisconsin weather makes it perfect for the hearty reds to warm your insides, while there are plenty of days to enjoy the crisp whites, including the ever popular patio pounders for the warm summer evenings. Paired with any of Wisconsin’s artisan cheeses, you can’t go wrong. Here are my favorite wine bars in Brew City:

Indulge Induldge

Located on Milwaukee’s hippest street for dining and nightlife, Indulge provides a stylish yet casual atmosphere making you feel relaxed the moment you walk in. An extensive wine list features wines by the bottle or glass listed by category from Flirty and Frisky whites to Sensuous and Fierce reds. A variety of wine flights are available as well as wonderful pairings with charcuterie, cheese and chocolate, including hand-made truffles. Wednesdays are especially fun with Women’s Wine Wednesday specials.

East Town Neighborhood
708 N. Milwaukee St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Opening Hours:
Tuesday-Thursday 4:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Friday & Saturday 4:30 PM – 1 AM
Sunday & Monday Closed except for Private Events

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Balzac Balzac Taps

Just off busy Brady Street, Balzac Wine Bar adds a bit of casual sophistication to the neighborhood. The atmosphere is cozy with two bars and plenty of table seating. Scoring a table on the patio is great for socializing and some of the best people watching in the city. Wines are available by the glass, bottle and on tap. The extensive wine list is well done with detailed descriptions indicating the wine buyer really knows his stuff. With the large wine selection, a delicious small plate menu and the cool atmosphere, Balzac could easily become habit forming.

Brady Street Neighborhood
1716 N. Arlington Place
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Opening Hours:
Monday-Sunday 4 PM – Bartime

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Pastiche Bistro & Wine BarPastiche

Pastiche Bistro is a very charming 10-table restaurant in the Bay View neighborhood much better known for beer bars than wine bars. The seats often fill up quickly with diners; however you can usually snag a seat at the bar or wander upstairs to the wine store to enjoy a glass of wine and chat with the sommelier. Sitting at the bar has its incentive with happy hour specials from 4pm-6pm Monday through Thursday featuring half-price wine by the glass and half price appetizers only for bar patrons. You’ll also want to check out Tapas Tuesday with reservations recommended.

Price Range: 
Dinner Entrees $12-$30

Bay View Neighborhood
3001 S. Kinnickinnic Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Opening Hours:
Monday-Thursday 4 PM – 9 PM
Friday & Saturday 4 PM – 10 PM
Sunday 4 PM – 8 PM

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Ruby TapThe Ruby Tap

Ruby Tap has become a trendy neighborhood gathering spot in the Village of Wauwatosa. You start with a glass and a swipe card giving you access to self-service wine machines with around 30 different wine choices. The machines offer three different size pours, and then you start roaming at your own pace. If you find one you like, bottles are for sale to take home or can be opened at the bar for a corkage fee. For those who prefer to not play the self-serve game, you can also choose from several choices daily of wine on tap behind the bar. Events include International Nights with sampling of wines and appetizers from different countries such as South Africa or Spain for $20 per person. Food choices include cheeses, cured meats, desserts and the very popular truffle popcorn. You can also join the Ruby Tap Wine Club for monthly wine specials and private events.

Wauwatosa Village
1341 N. Wauwatosa Ave
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Opening Hours:
Monday-Thursday 3 PM – 10 PM
Friday 3 PM – 12 AM
Saturday 1 PM – 12 AM
Sunday Closed

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Thief WineThief Wine

In the center of the bustling Milwaukee Public Market, Thief Wine Bar is an oasis for relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine. Wines by the glass, carafe or by the flight are available at the bar. It’s a great spot to meet up with friends for Happy Hour which runs from 4pm-6pm on weekdays, including $4 Fridays. The retail area has a wide selection to choose from with affordable pricing. The service staff is knowledgeable and the owners are often there providing excellent recommendations.

Price Range: Flights $10-$15

Historic Third Ward Neighborhood
400 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Opening Hours:
Monday-Wednesday 10 AM – 8 PM
Thursday & Friday 10 AM – 9 PM
Saturday 8 AM – 9 PM
Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM

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