Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar
954 N. California Ave.
This is the only wine bar on the list because, really, it’s the only wine bar you need. The by-the-glass menu is streamlined but full of surprises, with tasting notes that are at once unabashedly wonky (“skin- and concrete egg–fermented”) and eminently useful (“Try this one with mild, soft cheeses!”). Staffers share their knowledge joyfully, without condescension or pretense, as if their sole desire is that you love what you’re drinking and will come back for more. You’ll oblige them on both counts.
Who’s there:Date-nighters and solo oenophiles
What to order:2015 Olivier Cousin Pur Breton Cabernet Franc ($10)
3 weeks ago