Gone are the days of relying on state-run stores to buy wine. Philadelphia is experiencing a renaissance of excellent independent wine shops whose knowledgeable staff can walk customers through bottles of natural, organic, biodynamic, and other generally small-batch wines that you often can’t find in state stores, including Pennsylvania-made products. Stop by Philly’s best bottle shops — some of which are also lovely wine bars — on the way to one of the city’s many fantastic BYOB restaurants.Read More
Where to Buy Interesting, Unusual, and Delicious Bottles of Wine in Philly
With the proliferation of bottle shops all over town, there’s never been a better time to be a wine lover
Tinys Bottle Shop
The aptly named Tinys Bottle Shop is tucked away behind the Lunar Inn in Port Richmond. Despite its cozy intimacy, this retail space offers quite a selection of organic and biodynamic wine plus beer and cider. Interesting and lesser-known bottles from the East Coast and local producers like Mural City Cellars stand alongside international specialties. Wines range from everyday drinkers priced under $25 to ritzier sparklers. The staff is friendly and upbeat, and handwritten tasting notes that hang around bottles’ necks provide a personal touch. Plan to swing by for free tastings every Tuesday evening.
Mural City Cellars
Fishtown’s Mural City Cellars is an urban winery with the unique goal of bringing affordable, local table wines to Philly. The winery sources grapes from within a 300-mile radius for minimal-intervention wines, from an uncomplicated CSW White featuring Maryland-grown vidal blanc to a bubbly pet-nat showing off New York riesling. The bottles also feature fantastic labels from regional artists. You can find them at Mural’s pop-up wine bar and bottle shop, which offers discounts on Mondays, ticketed classes, a wine club, and rotating chef residencies to keep the food pairings fresh.
The Richmond Bottle Shop
Convenient to Port Richmond, Fishtown, and Kensington, the Richmond Bottle Shop sits within the larger Richmond Shops grocery store. Along with hundreds of beers, ciders, and seltzers, this retail shop carries about 700 wines, including a heavy focus on natural wines and California’s San Luis Obispo region.
Fishtown Social features natural wines from small producers at a full bar — don’t miss happy hour specials daily, even on weekends — and at a pretty retail shop, so you can sample many of the goods before deciding what to take home. The shop’s prominent tasting notes lower the intimidation factor of browsing unfamiliar wines, and the knowledgeable staff can step in at any time to help narrow the many choices from small producers.
Dozens of different bottles from around the world line the shelves at Vernick Wine, spanning natural and organic to more conventional styles as well as a smaller selection of sherry, vermouth, and cider. The Rittenhouse Square shop also has a grocery section that sells house-made goods from the Vernick Food & Drink kitchen, other Philadelphia producers, and international purveyors. You can subscribe to a monthly wine club by emailing the shop directly.
This chill Fitler Square restaurant doubles as a natural wine shop, offering a small but well-rounded selection of red, white, sparkling, and rosé wines that range from traditional to more experimental. Pair with Sally’s sourdough pizza and small plates for a delicious night out or at home with a takeout order.
Cork, the Wine Shop at Cook
Located in Rittenhouse Square, Audrey Claire’s beautifully done Cork, the Wine Shop at Cook features over 120 hard-to-find wines to go as well as vermouth, cider, canned and boxed wine and spritzes, bottled cocktails, and copious nonalcoholic wines. If you’re stocking the pantry, Cork also sells a large selection of curated sweet and savory snacks, including cheese, salami, and chocolate, plus barware, wine accessories, candles, linens, and epicurean books. The staff is happy to help folks find just the right bottle or pairing.
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Jet Wine Bar
South Street’s artsy Jet Wine Bar has evolved to encompass a small bottle shop specializing in ancient winegrowing regions from Greece to Georgia but also domestic darlings, from sparkling to orange to dessert wine. Jet also sells themed wine packs and a wine club that confers benefits like shop discounts and reservations for the charming wine garden.
Behind famous green doors on the cobblestone streets of Headhouse Square, the lovely Bloomsday Cafe also houses Fancy Wine Shop, full of organic, biodynamic, oxidative, and small-production wines from predominantly family-run farms and small businesses. Keep an eye out for exciting Pennsylvania products here, including the shop’s own Dumpster Juice vermouth and collaborations with producers like Wayvine Winery & Vineyard in Nottingham. If you sign up for a subscription-based wine club, you’ll also get crucial accoutrements like a wine tote bag, corkscrew, and in-shop discounts.
Chloe Grigri’s moody, French-inspired South Street District bar and wine shop sells a wide selection of small-production, low-intervention wines. They’re particularly fun to try during special events and classes with themes such as women winemakers and rules of riesling. Be warned: Le Caveau, which sits above sibling restaurant the Good King Tavern, takes walk-ins only, and its recent recognition as a semifinalist for a James Beard Award can only increase its popularity.
Despite its reputation as an all-day beer cafe, Hawthornes in Bella Vista stocks hundreds of wines that don’t typically show up at state stores — and you can even order them straight to your door via the shop’s Quicksip Delivery service. If you’re dining in, you’ll find a hearty food menu that pairs well with wine, from zesty pizzas to savory plates like salmon risotto and an Italian sausage board.
Di Bruno Bros. (multiple locations)
Philly’s iconic gourmet Italian grocery store sells wine by the bottle at its Rittenhouse and Franklin Market locations and at the Di Bruno Bros. Bottle Shop in the Italian Market on South Ninth Street. The large selection of international wines puts an expected emphasis on Italian wine, but the team also collaborates with regional producers for its own DB & Friends Wine Series. Add tons of beer, cider, fine cheese, and other provisions and you’ve got any hosting occasion covered.
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The Bottle Shop
Located in the heart of the East Passyunk Avenue restaurant strip, the Bottle Shop boasts wine from around the world, from big everyday brands and canned and boxed wine to more esoteric options including organic, pet-nat, and orange wines. Despite the name, this is also a bar, which means you can sip wine and beer while you decide what to take home. On the other hand, you can also order online for delivery throughout South Philly, or join a monthly wine club focused on organic and sustainable picks.
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