10 Great Wine Lists in Oklahoma City
The most progressive by-the-glass lists in the metro
Wine lists tend to divide neatly into three categories: progressive, traditional, and stuff you find at big box stores. If you are comfortable with specific, affordable brands with Diet Coke-like consistency from year to year, the latter is a safe bet. If you prefer heritage brands with a solid CV, a measure of predictability, and some variety vintage to vintage, then traditional is where you’ll land. The list below, though, consists of 10 metro wine bars and restaurants that prize adventurousness above consistency, and predictability without sacrificing quality. These are the spots where you’ll find orange wine, PetNats, natural wines, and the hottest names in the wine world.
- The Metro Wine Bar and Bistro. No serious wine aficionado would even listen to an argument that doesn’t have LaVeryl Lower’s by-the-glass list as the gold standard in Oklahoma City. She’s been building lists that blend traditional and progressive for more than 30 years, and the flight program makes it possible to try several per visit.
- The Study. Ian Bennett made wine much more approachable to diners at Ludivine long before he and his partners opened The Study, which he calls a wine pub. The description is accurate, since his specialty is helping people expand their wine palates and knowledge in a very comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere, and he has everything from esoteric to Oklahoma wine on his list.
- Rococo. When Bruce Rinehart reopened at his beautiful new space, the biggest change other than the decor was the bar program. The wine list now features everything from domestic Carignan to French Malbec, with names like Birichino, Bodkin, Ian Brand, Brianne Day, and Folk Machine.
- Frida. Not only is it producing some of the city’s best food, Frida is moving more wine than almost anyone else in town, and that’s largely due to the amazing setting and Kim Dansereau’s brilliant by-the-glass list. She has everything from Counoise to wines from Mexico to skin contact Pinot Gris to Oregon Riesling, with names like Teutonic, J. Brix, and Groundwork.
- Palo Santo. It should come as no surprise that a bar so good at cocktails also has an adventurous wine list. Any list that features excellent Beaujolais, wines from Field Recordings, and a Cremant de Limoux is my friend.
- 1884. Before she left us to study wine in Italy, Madi Franklin built an exceptional wine list at this Edmond destination. Every category is a blend of traditional and progressive, beginning with rosé, where you’ll find Moulin-de-Gassac (France) and Lorenza (California). She added wines from Greece, Txakolina from Spain, and Chenin Blanc from South Africa to build a list that includes all the major growing regions—and some minor ones, too.
- Paseo Grill. Old dogs can learn new tricks; don’t let anyone lie to you about that. The venerable and popular date-night restaurant in the Paseo started adding newer, more adventurous wines to its list a couple years ago, so amid the traditional selections, you’ll also find Field Recordings, Liquid Geography, and Foris.
- Scratch Norman. Brady Sexton, like many owners, balances the demands of regular customers who love country club-style wines with the reality of building a list in a university town. He manages the task well, including names like Ian Brand, Medivol, Col Dorato, and Field Recordings.
- Jones Assembly. One of the most beautiful venues in the city ought to have a good by-the-glass selection, and Jones delivers. Land of Saints, one of the hottest brands in the world, makes the list, as does rockstar winemaker Brianne Day. You’ll find Groundwork Picpoul and Skouras Moscofilero on the list, too.
- Red Rooster. The just-off-the-Paseo restaurant has perhaps the most unconventional and adventurous list in the city, featuring Land of Saints, Carpinus, Birichino, and Colliano from Slovenia. If you go, don’t expect “safe” options, but there are a couple standout traditional wines like Presquile and Zinke. Far more fun is working through the PetNat, Txakoli, and Furmint options.