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A view of the interior of minimo wine bar in Oakland minimo

11 Bars for a Great Glass of Wine in the East Bay

From funky fresh finds of the natural variety to places to uncover rare legacy finds

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Those on the lookout for a good — nay, a great glass of wine would do well to focus their attention on the East Bay. While San Francisco might steal some of the spotlight with high-end pours and legacy wine merchants, across the water in places like Oakland, Berkeley, Danville, and more, a rowdy wine scene that embraces the weird, wacky, and wonderful has emerged. Some of the East Bay’s most well-known wine bars embrace natural wines or lesser-known wine regions, and the area has offerings for nearly every kind of wine drinker. The core of the wine scene is centered around Oakland and Berkeley, but there are surprising sips to be found across the region. These are just a few of some of the exceptional East Bay wine bars.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Purity Wine/The Study Wine Bar

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1401 Marina Way S #280
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 295-5442
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Purity Wine is a winery dedicated to organic and natural wines and the Study, the affiliated wine bar, expands on that dedication by offering not only Purity’s range of pet nats, roses, red, and orange wines, but also bottles from some of their fellow natural winemakers. Offerings (aside from Purity’s line) change frequently, but recently included the Bianco from Meigamma on the Italian island of Sardegna, a skin-contact white wine made from the red grape Cannonau.

2. Riggers Loft Wine Company-R&B Cellars

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1325 Canal Blvd
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 233-2065
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Both tasting room and wine bar, Riggers Loft offers tasty pours with unbeatable bay views. The tasting room for R&B Cellars, Riggers Loft also regularly features wines from Carica Wines, Wachira Wines, Prima Materia, and more. There is a menu of Limited Reserve and Library Wines, and they also offer ciders from Far West Cider Company (for any wine-averse tag alongs).

3. Wine So Cru

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800 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 280-5583
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Wine So Cru’s owner and Certified Sommelier Nu-Beer Putthongvilai has put together a well-crafted selection of international and domestic wines at her Berkeley wine shop and bar. The list is exceedingly approachable and affordable for those looking for memorable bottles, like a Premier Cru Montagny from Les Tourellese for $50 or a 2014 Barolo from Elvio Cogno for under $100. There are plenty of bottle options under $30 as well, along with a by-the-glass list for those who want to sit and sip a while.

4. DAYTRIP

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4316 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

The newest entrant on Oakland’s wine scene, DAYTRIP hit the ground running this October with a wine selection as funky as their food menu (see Eater SF’s recap of their soft opening). Jenny Eagleton (formerly of The Punchdown Natural Wine Bar) oversees the beverages, and the carefully curated selection runs the gamut from a red rice sake to a Lambrusco pet nat. The small wine shop corner shows prices for take home and dine in, and with most bottles under $50, Daytrip offers the chance to discover a new wine (or sake, or cider) without splashing out loads of cash.

Inside Daytrip sports black-and-white walls, modern artwork on the walls, and a bar covered in colorful tiles. David Matesanz

5. Perle Wine Bar

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2058 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 808-7767
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Up in the hills of Oakland’s Montclair Village neighborhood, Perle Wine Bar leans heavily on some of the most well-known wine regions in France and California for the bulk of a wine menu that complements its French-tinged food. Pascal Jolivet Le Roc Sancerre (2017), Justin Dutraive Les Bulands Beaujolais (2018), Quintessa’s Rutherford red blend from Napa, and Ridge’s 2004 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon are just a few of the standout options.

6. The Find: A Wine Country Experience

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312 Railroad Ave
Danville, CA 94526
(925) 718-8936
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Heading over the hills to Danville might seem like a stretch for an East Bay list, but the wine at The Find is well worth the trip. The bar is the brainchild of three Napa Valley vintners who conspired to create a wine list that features some very hard-to-find California wines (at least outside of wine country). Wineries like Vineyard 7 & 8, Aesop, and Julien Fayard are represented, with nearly every wine on the list available by the glass in addition to the bottle. Members of The Find’s Wine Club get discounted bottle prices.

The Find: A Wine Country Experience

7. Ordinaire Wine Shop & Wine Bar

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3354 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 350-7524
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One of the Grande Dames of the Oakland wine scene, Ordinaire has been an East Bay favorite since opening in 2013. Like other Oakland wine bars Ordinaire shines a spotlight on natural wines and those who make them, with a rotating selection of by the glass offerings to complement the extensive by the bottle selection in the shop. Recent menu highlights included the 2020 “Litrozzo” red from La Coste winery in Italy’s Lazio region, a funky rose from Herve Villemade in the Loire Valley, and a 2019 white blend from Spain’s Jordi Llorens.

8. The Punchdown

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1737 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 788-7877
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It’s easy to switch into experimental mode with the wide selection at The Punchdown. With options like Domaine de Grottes’s 2019 “Un Petit Coin du Paradis”, a Gamay pet nat, and “Sidra!”, a co-ferment of Carignan and apple juice from native Oaklander Ashanta Wines, this is one of the best spots in the East Bay to do a deep dive into the world of natural wines. By the glass pours are available in addition to bottles, and a happy hour wine menu makes exploring the world of natural wines a bit more affordable for those new to scene.

The Punchdown

9. minimo

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420 3rd St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 891-1024
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If minimo’s aesthetic is minimal it’s wine selection is anything but that. A frequently changing by the glass menu is available daily, and any bottle in the shop can be enjoyed on-site for just a $10 corkage fee. On Fridays and Saturdays they offer a featured flight, a great opportunity to explore some of the natural wines they have on hand, which span the globe from California to France, Georgia (the country) to Slovenia.

minimo

10. The Preacher's Daughter

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1629 Park St
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 995-8041
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The name is a tribute to owner Dianah Rodriguez’s late father, Pastor Virgilio Remorca, but don’t expect a holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to the drink selection at this Alameda wine bar and cafe. The approachable menu covers both Old World and New World favorites like the Roederer Estate Brut sparkling from the Anderson Valley, Daou Vineyards rose from Paso Robles, and the Chateau Le Bonnat Graves from Bordeaux. Red, white, rose, and sparkling flights are all available, and with no glass over $16 (or bottle over $60), The Preacher’s Daughters is a great spot to enjoy quality wine without breaking the bank.

11. Cordial Cellar + Lounge

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3295 Castro Valley Blvd B100
Castro Valley, CA 94546
(510) 876-8667
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An offshoot of Cordial Bottle Shop, Cordial Cellar and Lounge offers a curated selection of wines by the glass alongside small bites in a sleek basement level space in the Castro Valley Marketplace. The by-the-glass menu pulls heavily from California wine country, with select appearances from international wineries. Education is a big component of the experience at Cordial, with various wine flights always on the menu and regular Wednesday night tasting experiences, wine suppers, pop-ups, and more. Missed one of those Wednesday tasting classes? Never fear, there is always the Redux Flight available, a revisit of the previous Wednesday’s tasting menu.

1. Purity Wine/The Study Wine Bar

1401 Marina Way S #280, Richmond, CA 94804

Purity Wine is a winery dedicated to organic and natural wines and the Study, the affiliated wine bar, expands on that dedication by offering not only Purity’s range of pet nats, roses, red, and orange wines, but also bottles from some of their fellow natural winemakers. Offerings (aside from Purity’s line) change frequently, but recently included the Bianco from Meigamma on the Italian island of Sardegna, a skin-contact white wine made from the red grape Cannonau.

1401 Marina Way S #280
Richmond, CA 94804

2. Riggers Loft Wine Company-R&B Cellars

1325 Canal Blvd, Richmond, CA 94804

Both tasting room and wine bar, Riggers Loft offers tasty pours with unbeatable bay views. The tasting room for R&B Cellars, Riggers Loft also regularly features wines from Carica Wines, Wachira Wines, Prima Materia, and more. There is a menu of Limited Reserve and Library Wines, and they also offer ciders from Far West Cider Company (for any wine-averse tag alongs).

1325 Canal Blvd
Richmond, CA 94804

3. Wine So Cru

800 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710

Wine So Cru’s owner and Certified Sommelier Nu-Beer Putthongvilai has put together a well-crafted selection of international and domestic wines at her Berkeley wine shop and bar. The list is exceedingly approachable and affordable for those looking for memorable bottles, like a Premier Cru Montagny from Les Tourellese for $50 or a 2014 Barolo from Elvio Cogno for under $100. There are plenty of bottle options under $30 as well, along with a by-the-glass list for those who want to sit and sip a while.

800 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94710

4. DAYTRIP

4316 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Inside Daytrip sports black-and-white walls, modern artwork on the walls, and a bar covered in colorful tiles. David Matesanz

The newest entrant on Oakland’s wine scene, DAYTRIP hit the ground running this October with a wine selection as funky as their food menu (see Eater SF’s recap of their soft opening). Jenny Eagleton (formerly of The Punchdown Natural Wine Bar) oversees the beverages, and the carefully curated selection runs the gamut from a red rice sake to a Lambrusco pet nat. The small wine shop corner shows prices for take home and dine in, and with most bottles under $50, Daytrip offers the chance to discover a new wine (or sake, or cider) without splashing out loads of cash.

4316 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

5. Perle Wine Bar

2058 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94611

Up in the hills of Oakland’s Montclair Village neighborhood, Perle Wine Bar leans heavily on some of the most well-known wine regions in France and California for the bulk of a wine menu that complements its French-tinged food. Pascal Jolivet Le Roc Sancerre (2017), Justin Dutraive Les Bulands Beaujolais (2018), Quintessa’s Rutherford red blend from Napa, and Ridge’s 2004 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon are just a few of the standout options.

2058 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94611

6. The Find: A Wine Country Experience

312 Railroad Ave, Danville, CA 94526
The Find: A Wine Country Experience

Heading over the hills to Danville might seem like a stretch for an East Bay list, but the wine at The Find is well worth the trip. The bar is the brainchild of three Napa Valley vintners who conspired to create a wine list that features some very hard-to-find California wines (at least outside of wine country). Wineries like Vineyard 7 & 8, Aesop, and Julien Fayard are represented, with nearly every wine on the list available by the glass in addition to the bottle. Members of The Find’s Wine Club get discounted bottle prices.

312 Railroad Ave
Danville, CA 94526

7. Ordinaire Wine Shop & Wine Bar

3354 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

One of the Grande Dames of the Oakland wine scene, Ordinaire has been an East Bay favorite since opening in 2013. Like other Oakland wine bars Ordinaire shines a spotlight on natural wines and those who make them, with a rotating selection of by the glass offerings to complement the extensive by the bottle selection in the shop. Recent menu highlights included the 2020 “Litrozzo” red from La Coste winery in Italy’s Lazio region, a funky rose from Herve Villemade in the Loire Valley, and a 2019 white blend from Spain’s Jordi Llorens.

3354 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

8. The Punchdown

1737 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
The Punchdown

It’s easy to switch into experimental mode with the wide selection at The Punchdown. With options like Domaine de Grottes’s 2019 “Un Petit Coin du Paradis”, a Gamay pet nat, and “Sidra!”, a co-ferment of Carignan and apple juice from native Oaklander Ashanta Wines, this is one of the best spots in the East Bay to do a deep dive into the world of natural wines. By the glass pours are available in addition to bottles, and a happy hour wine menu makes exploring the world of natural wines a bit more affordable for those new to scene.

1737 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

9. minimo

420 3rd St, Oakland, CA 94607
minimo

If minimo’s aesthetic is minimal it’s wine selection is anything but that. A frequently changing by the glass menu is available daily, and any bottle in the shop can be enjoyed on-site for just a $10 corkage fee. On Fridays and Saturdays they offer a featured flight, a great opportunity to explore some of the natural wines they have on hand, which span the globe from California to France, Georgia (the country) to Slovenia.

420 3rd St
Oakland, CA 94607

10. The Preacher's Daughter

1629 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

The name is a tribute to owner Dianah Rodriguez’s late father, Pastor Virgilio Remorca, but don’t expect a holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to the drink selection at this Alameda wine bar and cafe. The approachable menu covers both Old World and New World favorites like the Roederer Estate Brut sparkling from the Anderson Valley, Daou Vineyards rose from Paso Robles, and the Chateau Le Bonnat Graves from Bordeaux. Red, white, rose, and sparkling flights are all available, and with no glass over $16 (or bottle over $60), The Preacher’s Daughters is a great spot to enjoy quality wine without breaking the bank.

1629 Park St
Alameda, CA 94501

11. Cordial Cellar + Lounge

3295 Castro Valley Blvd B100, Castro Valley, CA 94546

An offshoot of Cordial Bottle Shop, Cordial Cellar and Lounge offers a curated selection of wines by the glass alongside small bites in a sleek basement level space in the Castro Valley Marketplace. The by-the-glass menu pulls heavily from California wine country, with select appearances from international wineries. Education is a big component of the experience at Cordial, with various wine flights always on the menu and regular Wednesday night tasting experiences, wine suppers, pop-ups, and more. Missed one of those Wednesday tasting classes? Never fear, there is always the Redux Flight available, a revisit of the previous Wednesday’s tasting menu.

3295 Castro Valley Blvd B100
Castro Valley, CA 94546

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