7 Wine Bars We Love
Savor the world’s best wines—no passport required
By Katy Ryan Schamberger
Beer might get a lot of the attention in Kansas City (and for good reason), but don’t worry, wine lovers. No matter what part of the city you’re in—or the type of wine you love—Kansas City has a wine bar for you, from cozy, intimate bistro-like settings to larger, vibrant spaces. We’ll help you sample the scene with a list of local favorites. Your only dilemma might be deciding which wine bar to try first—cheers!
Amigoni Urban Winery
Michael and Kerry Amigoni decided to make their own wine in 1995, and began by planting Cabernet Franc vines in their Leawood, Kan. backyard. That backyard vineyard evolved into 10 acres of pasture in Centerview, Mo., and in 2006, the Amigonis harvested their first commercial grapes to make their own wine. At Amigoni Urban Winery, located in the historic Daily Drover Telegram Newspaper building in Kansas City’s West Bottoms, you can taste the fruits (no pun intended) of the Amigonis’ success, including red and white wines that are served from a tap system designed especially for wine. Additional offerings include Boulevard beer tastings and small plates that feature local cheeses and breads, the perfect accompaniment to any Amigoni wine.
If you prefer wine of the sparkling variety, make plans to get to Ça Va—immediately. The brainchild of Howard Hanna, co-owner of The Rieger, Ça Va is a champagne bar that features more than 30 sparkling wines, including several from the Champagne region of France. The cozy interior is reminiscent of a French bistro, complete with a patio that’s a perfect spot to sip al fresco. Ça Va also features champagne cocktails, as well as a thoughtfully planned menu that includes local cheese, charcuterie boards and weekend brunch selections complete with a mimosa bar. Elle magazine called Ça Va “a jewel box of a bar dedicated to champagne” and proclaimed, “dreams do come true.” Experience the magic for yourself.
After a devastating fire, JJ’s Restaurant reopened across the street from its original location, bringing with it one of the restaurant’s signature items: a 1,800-bottle wine list that Wine Spectator called “one of the best wine lists in the world.” If you’re daunted by the impressive global selection, don’t stress. JJ’s knowledgeable servers can help you pick the perfect pairing for your meal. If it’s your first time at JJ’s, start with one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Paco Shrimp appetizer—you’ll thank us later.
Louie’s Wine Dive & Kitchen
When USA Today proclaims you’re among “10 great restaurants with stellar wine lists,” well, it’s hard to beat that kind of praise. Despite the name, Louie’s Wine Dive in Waldo is anything but a dive. The enviable wine list includes extensive selections by the glass and bottle. See a bottle that looks intriguing, but you’re leery of the full commitment? As long as you agree to purchase two glasses, Louie’s Wine Dive staff will open the bottle, then list it on a chalkboard so that other diners can try it, too. You’ll find plenty of delicious appetizers and entrees to enjoy with your wine, including several gluten-free dishes. And if you love nothing more than Sunday Funday, Louie’s serves a mean brunch until early afternoon. Spending more time on the Kansas side of the state line? Stop by Louie’s second location at 6701 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kan.
Osteria IL Centro
It’s only fitting that a restaurant renowned for its Italian food also has a superb wine list, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Osteria IL Centro. The charming, Mediterranean-esque bistro has achieved an incredible 18 consecutive Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence accolades, thanks to a global reserve wine list with more than 10,000 bottles. Wines by the glass are discounted during happy hour (4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday), in case you want to get a head start on your tasting experience. If you can’t get enough of Osteria IL Centro and its wine list, the restaurant also offers a wine club that includes discounted bottles, tasting events, master sommelier selections and more.
Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen
Tannin’s website poses an interesting question: food-obsessed wine bar or wine-obsessed restaurant? The thoughtful, seasonal menu is undeniably mouthwatering, yet it’s Tannin’s extensive wine list that’s truly impressive. Nestled in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District—and just a quick walk from the Power and Light District—Tannin is a must for any wine lover. Peruse selections by the bottle or glass. In the mood to try something new? Tannin’s knowledgeable servers and management staff have a superior track record when it comes to recommendations and will introduce you to a previously undiscovered favorite. The wine list evolves seasonally, so don’t let too much time lapse between visits. Oh, and keep an eye on Tannin’s events calendar for wine tastings, dinners and more.
Wines by Jennifer
No visit to Kansas City is complete without a stop in historic, picturesque Parkville, located just a short drive north of downtown Kansas City. And while you’re there, don’t miss a chance to explore Wines By Jennifer, described as “a global wine boutique.” Located in a house built in the early 1900s, the shop includes several rooms, each of which is decorated to represent a major wine region: Spain and Portugal; Italy; France; Australia and New Zealand; Germany and Austria; Chile, Uruguay and Argentina; South Africa; and the U.S. Each includes wines, wine maps and wine-making equipment so that you’re instantly transported to that particular region—no travel required! Don’t leave without a visit to the tasting room, which includes weekly themed selections and, for an additional charge, a souvenir tasting glass.