Where to "wine down" in Tampa Bay

Bacchanalian delights

CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bay's neighborhoods. This week, we're doing things a little differently by giving you a guide to some of the excellent wine bars that Tampa Bay has to offer.

A TASTE FOR WINE 241 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-895-1623, tasteforwine.net. A cozy wine bar with an impressive and inexpensive collection of wines by the glass and bottle. Live music every weekend and plenty of tasting events. Overlooking Downtown St. Pete's Central Avenue, the patio is a great spot to watch passerby.

BEAUNE'S WINE BAR 2009 N. 22nd St., Tampa, 813-241-8587, westpalmwines.com. Beaune's Wine Bar concept is absolutely, stunningly simple. It starts with a brief menu based on classic French bistro dishes, with the addition of an entire page of cheese and charcuterie that can be mixed and matched onto combination plates. First and foremost, however, is the wine. A huge selection at every price point, with more incredible wines under $20 than you'll find anywhere else.

BERNS FINE WINE & SPIRITS 1002 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-250-9463, bernsfinewines.com. An extension of Bern's Steak House's fantastic collection of wines, Bern's Fine Wine is primarily a retail store with fine wines, ports, Champagne, spirits and cheeses from around the globe. Their weekly Crush Hour tastings bring in heavy-hitters from the wine world and are not to be missed.

CABANA CAFE AND GIFTS 833 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, 727-712-2233, cabanacafeandgifts.com. This quaint spot offers an eclectic menu of moderately priced vino and an eclectic menu of paninis, soups and salads to accompany them. The biggest selling point is the front and side porch seating from which one can watch the passerby. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

CLEARWATER WINE BAR & BISTRO 483 Mandalay Ave., Suite 113, Clearwater Beach, 727-446-8805, clearwaterwinecompany.com. A "European-inspired" wine bar, eatery and retail wine shop with over 40 wines by the glass and more than 100 bottles to choose from. Also offering craft beers, imported cheeses and bistro fare. Recipient of a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and Wine Enthusiast Award of Distinction.

CRU CELLARS 2506 S. Macdill Ave., Tampa, 813-831-1117, crucellarstampa.com. Only a year old and already one of South Tampa's most popular spots for local oenophiles to see and be seen. Besides weekly tastings and specials, Cru's other "shindigs" include the Wine and Words book club and Cru U wine courses. Also offering plenty of tasty cheeses, charcuterie and artisan chocolates to pair with the vino.

THE GRAPE 2223 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa, 813-354-9463, yourgrape.com. Part wine bar, part bistro, part retail shop, The Grape is great for one-stop wine shopping, a romantic evening or after work happy hour. Great selection of wines and bubbly, even though the prices can be a bit steep. Also offering lots of special tasting events and wine pairing dinners.

GRAPES & GRAINS 11246 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 813-854-2595, grapes-grains.com. Formerly the Winemall, Grapes & Grains sports a new name as well as new offerings, like cheese, charcuterie and even craft beers. Keep an eye on their calendar as they're always hosting special tasting events, live music and more.

KING CORONA CIGARS CAFE & BAR 1523 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-241-9109, kingcoronacigars.com. Yes, King Corona has an amazing selection of cigars and great coffee and espresso drinks, but have you ever taken a look at their wine list? Offering an array of high-end wines and ports that would go perfectly with a stogie. Plus, the sidewalk seating on 7th Avenue makes for great people watching (especially on a Saturday night).

PAN Y VINO 369 Main St., Dunedin, 727-734-7700, panyvino.com. A wine bar and full-scale brick-oven pizzeria in Casa Tina's original location. Holding blind wine tastings and wine trivia nights weekly.

PARK SQUARE CELLAR 16132 Churchview Drive, Lithia, 813-689-4560, parksquarecellar. Proffering a huge menu of wine by the bottle and plenty by the glass, too. Pair them with the upscale menu of bistro fare with French and Mediterranean influences.

TAPS WINE & BEER MERCHANTS 777 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, 813-463-1968, tapswineandbeer.com. One of the pioneers in reviving downtown Tampa's nightlife, Taps' beer and wine selection makes it an easy spot to meet friends after work or a show. Take your pick from the extensive list of wines by the glass or bottle and order some tapas

TOAST 14921 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, 813-632-3105, toastofnewtampa.com. New Tampa's hot spot for wine and stogies, Toast offers a plethora of wines by the glass or bottle, light bites, a cedar-planked humidor and a smoking lounge. Check out their calendar of events for weekly specials and live music lineup.

THE VINE RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR 17667 N. Dale Mabry, Lutz, 813-964-8463, thevinebar.net. Tucked away in a strip mall in the North Carrollwood area, The Vine is a hidden gem. Not only does it boast an impressive wine stash, it also is a full-service bar and restaurant with classic American and Italian dishes, as well as sushi and some killer martinis. On Thursdays from 5-9 p.m., $20 buys you a bottomless glass of wine, dirty martinis and all-you-can-eat apps.

VINTAGE WINE CELLARS 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, 813-879-2931, vintagewinecellars.net. Yet another prime spot for wine in South Tampa, Vintage is primarily a retail store selling wine by the bottle, but often offer fun, themed wine tastings every week.

WINE EXCHANGE 1609 W. Snow Ave., Tampa, 813-254-9463, wineexchangetampa.com. For over 20 years The Wine Exchange has been providing Hyde Park with a staggering collection of wine selections from around the globe. Also offering gourmet cuisine for lunch and dinner, and a full-service bar.

WOOD FIRED PIZZA WINE BAR 2822 E. Bearss Ave., Tampa, 813-341-2900, wood-firedpizza.com. Yes, Wood Fired serves up some amazing pizzas, but let's not forget about the second half of the restaurant's name. Owner Peter Taylor has come up with quite the wine list — an array of moderately-priced picks and, of course, heavy on the Italian selections.

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