As evidenced by the massive renovations on K and R streets, and the moving of the arena to downtown, Sacramento is actively taking steps to shed it’s “cowtown” persona in favor of a more tourist and entertainment-friendly image. With downtown renovations grabbing the headlines as of late, it’s easy to forget that a plethora of entertainment experiences have popped up all over the region over the last few years. The region has also become home to a plethora of 4-star wine bars. With all of the options now available it may be hard to figure out the creme of the crop, so below is a list of the top four wine bars in the Sacramento region:
1. 58 Degrees & Holding Co.
1217 18th Street
Serves: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
There really isn’t much I can say about 58 Degrees & Holding that either hasn’t already been said about it, or that you can’t see from their amazing looking website. Voted #1 Wine Bar in Sacramento by every magazine, newspaper, and Alt Weekly in the region, and for good reason. Extensive wine list, fantastic ambiance, amazing food to go along with it. The only bad things that can be said about it are that parking can be a hassle and it occupies a very small space.
2. Back Wine Bar & Bistro
25075 Blue Ravine Road
Serves: Lunch and Dinner
Don’t let the fact that this place is located inside a strip mall fool you, the second you step inside Back Wine Bar & Bistro, the whole experience is original. Featuring an incredible ambiance, a gourmet chef, and a wine list over 100 bottles long, this place is definitely worth the drive to Folsom for. The business model isn’t original but Back Wine Bar & Bistro pulls it off very well. Pluck a gourmet, renowned chef from the bay area and offer the same quality food and entertainment you could find in San Francisco at a cheaper price. While I do think that Back Wine Bar & Bistro did perhaps also scale back the quality of service a bit too much in the process, this doesn’t distract from the taste of the food or wine that they offer.
3. Tucos Wine Market Cafe
130 G Street
Serves: Lunch, Dinner and Desert
Tucos features a gourmet chef that serves a constantly changing menu of dishes from around the world using ingredients locally grown and harvested coupled with a custom wine list that also changes with the menu of wines from around the world with a heavy local emphasis. Tucos also features a market in which you can purchase all of the ingredients used to create your meal, including your wine selection so that you can take it all home with you and recreate the experience in your kitchen. Tucos does often get overcrowded on Saturday nights but if the wait is over 30 minutes long Chef Pru often orders the staff to hand patrons a $10 bill to enjoy a glass of wine at Seasons or Our House and the staff will send you a text when a table is ready.
4. Frasinetti’s Winery and Restaurant
7395 Frassinetti Road
Serves: Lunch, Dinner
Frasinetti’s getting the mention here isn’t necessarily a testament to the taste of their food and wine, but rather a nod to local area history that you may or may not be aware of. Built in 1897 Frasinetti’s was the very first winery to open in the region. While their selections used to be sold coast to coast, in 1985 they went completely private label and now only sell directly from their restaurant. While the quality and taste isn’t much to write home about, the ambiance and history of the place is. There’s a reason why Frasinetti’s is home to many wedding receptions in the region. The look and feel of the whole establishment harkens back to a different era and when visiting you can’t help but soak in the experience of a true piece of Sacramento history.