Yeah, 2020 is a drag, but why whine when you can wine? Grab your mask, patronize a local shop and raise a glass to toast better days to come. Not only will you be supporting a small business, but you’ll also have a tasty beverage to help you unwind. Here are some places where you can get your vino on.
R Wine Cellar, 2014 Smallman St., and R Cellar on Penn, 2031 Penn Ave., Strip District
This family-run business has 20 hand-crafted wines to choose from. Need a bottle to take home? Visit the winery on Smallman St. on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 5, or Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you want to sip in the Strip, head a block up to R Cellar on Penn, where you can enjoy bottles, glasses and flights on the patio or inside and take some vino to go. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mary’s Vine, 211 Kenmawr Ave., Rankin
Last year, the Stasinowsky family opened Mary’s Vine in a former church in Rankin. Although you can’t sip in divine splendor these days, you can stop by and get to-go bottles of wine from around the world. They also deliver the goods to your doorstep. Check out the updated list online and pray for the pandemic to end.
Pittsburgh Winery, 2710 Penn Ave., Strip District
Fine wine is a work of art and Pittsburgh Winery is celebrating that. The business recently released several lines of wines supporting local charities and people, including Redfishbowl artists who created mini masterpieces for the labels. Five dollars from each specialty bottle sold goes back into a Pittsburgh Picasso’s pocket. The winery also teamed up with Women Who Rock, Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation and Savor Pittsburgh to create Wines for Women, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the health of women and infants. Place your order online. The Strip District spot is currently offering curbside pickup, delivery and is open for limited indoor and outdoor seating, where you can enjoy offerings — made with California grapes — by the glass or bottle.
Engine House 25 Wines, 3337 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville
The tasting room is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but you can still extinguish your fire with a to-go bottle of wine or a slushie. Order online and pick it up or have it delivered if you live in the neighborhood. Hungry? You can also pair freshly baked food from Lola’s Eatery with your beverage. Pirates fan? EH25 has a limited-run Clemente Red Label. In honor of number 21, 21 percent of the profits will be donated to the Clemente Museum (same owner) and the Pittsburgh chapter of the Red Cross.
Refucilo Winery, 907 Western Ave., North Side
You can get a taste of South America on the North Side. Refucilo’s Winery brings wine made in Argentina to Pittsburgh. From a summery Pinot Grigio to a dark and smoky Cabernet Sauvignon, there’s a liquid for every palate. Stop by Friday 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday 2 to 10 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 6 p.m. Happy hour is Friday 5 to 7 p.m. and there’s live music on Saturdays, weather permitting.
Courtyard Winery, 108 19th St., Strip District and Ross Park Mall
Headquartered in North East, PA, Courtyard Winery has spots in the Strip District and Ross Park Mall to provide Pittsburgh with wines from the Lake Erie region. The climate in the area is ideal for growing a variety of grapes, which shines through in the taste. Stock up in person or online.
SPiLL the Wine Bar, 4800 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield
The shop, which debuted in 2019, sells wine by the glass, bottle and case. Stop in and chat with the experts who source small-batch wines from around the world and bring them to Pittsburgh’s Little Italy. Hours are Friday and Saturday noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday 1 to 9 p.m.
23rd and Vine, 2333 E. Carson St., South Side
Opened last fall, 23rd and Vine became a popular place for local wine lovers during the pandemic thanks to its contactless online delivery service and virtual tastings with the world’s leading winemakers. The patio is now open, offering a quaint spot to enjoy more than 35 different varieties by the glass or bottle along with a house-made cheese board and dips. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 3 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 3 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 3 to 10 p.m.
Pennsylvania Libations, 2103 Penn Ave., Strip District
Pennsylvania Libations offers 150 options of wine and cider, but that number will grow to more than 250 when 1700 Penn opens in September. The 6,000-square-foot building (located just four blocks from the current retail shop) will house the Pennsylvania Libations Wine Store and Helltown Brewing taproom. In the meantime, the majority of its wines are available online for pickup and delivery. The owners are creating a wine subscription and ambassador membership, which will give customers discounts at the retail level.