Cheers! Prost! Salud! Wine and cheese go together like... well, wine and cheese. Here are some of the hot spots to go around the Twin Cities if what you're after is a bold pour of wine and creamy, flavorful cheese.
Bin Wine Bar
400 Selby St, Suite 150
St. Paul, MN 55101
With ten cheeses to choose from on the menu, you can create your own specialty cheese plate. The Pastureland Farmdog Blue is a flavorful, stinky cheese made right in Minnesota and cannot by passed by. You'll find nearly 40 wines by the glass at Bin Wine Bar, a great place to spend a late afternoon or evening in St. Paul. Bin Wine Bar has been voted Best Wine Bar by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, so the secret must be out that it's one of the new great places to go for wine. The bar offers up a full menu and wine flights if you can't decide which wine you fancy. Bin Wine Bar just turned two at the beginning of the year, so stop in for a glass of wine and a plate of cheese and cheers to Bin.
Related: Best Sweet Rolls In The Twin Cities
Lucia's Wine Bar
1432 W 31st St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
A list about the best wine bars in the Twin Cities wouldn't be complete without a mention of Lucia's. This wine bar is a hot spot for first dates, girls' night out or just a regular weekday night. It's probably because of the cozy atmosphere and curated wine selection from Oregon to Italy and everywhere in between. If you're feeling a little 'snacky' and want an array of meats and cheeses, try its Snack Board. It's available at three different prices depending on what you're in the mood for and comes with an array of antipasti, artisan cheeses and house-made meats. Or just choose the Artisan Cheese Plate that comes with an assortment, all drizzled in grape juice. Looking for a delightful and crisp wine to sip on a summery evening? Order a glass of the Schwarzbock 2010 Gruner Veltiner from Austria. It's perfect for the season.
1806 St. Clair Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105
Scusi's authentic, fresh dishes and wine selection will leave you wanting to come back the next day for seconds. The restaurant's shared-plate experience encourages you and your friends to try something new with every visit. Maybe this time you're daring enough to order that extra stinky, extra flavorful wedge of St. Pete's blue cheese made right here in Minnesota, and next time it's the slice of Scusi's mild, yet salty Taleggio. At any rate, it's guaranteed you'll be able to find a wine to enjoy. With over 50 to choose from, you might want to ask your server for suggestions on what to pair with your cheese, pasta, pizza or olives.
Toast Wine Bar & Cafe
415 N 1st St
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Toast Wine Bar & Cafe, located in the Warehouse District in Minneapolis, specializes in local and organic wines and cheeses. Its wine list boasts over 50 choices and the a-la-carte cheese plates are certainly something to talk about. Choose up to 10 different types to try, but be sure to include Spain's Idiazebel Smoked Sheep and Northern Lights Blue Cow's Milk options. Each day this cafe is open (every day except Monday) it features happy hour specials from 5 to 6 p.m. Stop in on your way home from work during the week or on the weekend after a day of shopping in Northeast for some time to relax and give your feet - and taste buds - a treat. Visit the website to stay up to date on cafe events and to see what's new on the ever-changing seasonal menus.
Pairings Food & Wine Market
6001 Shady Oak Road
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Pairings Food and Wine Market is the ultimate wine-and-cheese destination. It provides everything from cheese platters to free wine tastings, selling off-sale wine by the bottle and offering wine/cheese-related classes taught by the pros. You'll find this gem in Minnetonka off of Shady Oak Road. It's a great place for lunch, brunch or a dinner date, and the happy hour is to die for. There are $3 wines and beers, as well as cheese and olive plates and delicious guacamole. The Cheese Sampler Plate is your best bet to taste a range of this dairy delight. Also, with a variation of samples, you are encouraged to vary your wine tasting as well to find the perfect match. Visit the website for a calendar to see what classes are being offered and how to get tickets (and when the next free tasting is).
Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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