When the fleetingly chilly weather of this past weekend starts to become a little more permanent, consider adding Ampersand Wine Bar (4845 N. Damen Ave., Ravenswood, 773-728-0031) to your boozing rotation. It's the kind of warm neighborhood spot that's perfect when you just want a drink without all the tumult, when you want something interesting but don't want to deal with a lot of pretense.
The goal is to offer a mix of wines from all over the world, with lots of affordable by-the-glass options (most are $10 or less.) On the night we visited, the sipper of choice for the consistenty bustling crowd was a sparkling Burgundy–a bit out of the ordinary but still approachable for wine novices.
Here's what all we saw when we stopped in.