A Wine Bar? A Bookstore? At these 7 Popular Spots Around the Country, Have It Both Ways

Anybody can pair the wine and food; however, it takes a particular kind of skill to pair wine with the book.

This isn’t a skill I have. However, after talking to the owners of a number of bookshops and wine bars recently, I’ve figured out who to talk to. A number of these blended establishments have opened up in the past few years, drawing book lovers, as well as other established businesses, are still in operation.

The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar | Lenox, Mass.

When I visited at the Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar in the month of June, there was no time that I’d want to sip wine, though technically, I might have settled for a glass because the bar has the same hours of operation as the bookshop (10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and until 4.30 p.m. for Sundays, and “sometimes evenings as well”). Although it was 10 a.m. was not the ideal time for me to enjoy Prosecco and at $9 per glass, it was priced reasonably. (All the Get Lit wines cost in the range of $9 to $14 for a glass.)

Matt Tannenbaum has owned the Book Store since 1976 and included a wine bar in the adjacent building in the year 2010. He purchases every book, a vast, well-thought-out selection of classic and contemporary books. With the help of buddies, he selects the wines that are serving them in a warm area that is tucked away next to bookshelves.

Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar | Asheville, N.C.

My first visit to a bookstore and wine bar was seven years ago, when I went to the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar. The huge two-story space located within the historical Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville is elegantly decorated with comfortable leather sofas and massive shelves of books. The wine selection includes exquisite champagnes.

Both the wine and book inventory has been updated following my visit, in accordance with Donna Wright, a Champagne enthusiast who manages the selection of wines. Wright is the co-owner of the place, together with her husband, Thomas Wright, who is responsible for the books. They’ve also added a kitchen, an executive chef, and a menu as well. Another addition is an announcement that states “No laptops. It’s an establishment. Chat with each other.” No one has complained, Wright said: “It’s received very well.”

Book Club Bar | New York City

Laptops are not allowed until the time of 6 p.m. on the Book Club Bar, a elegant bookshop and wine bar that resembles a library located in New York’s East Village. When I went there on a Sunday afternoon, every spot at the bar was occupied. (If patrons would like to read a book from the bookstore located in the bar area, they have to purchase them in advance.)

The library selection in the Book Club Bar is extensive. The wine list was nine bottles by the glass when I visited. All of them are reasonably priced. I’m not sure when what the most recent time that I spent $8 for an adequate glass Vinho Verde at a bar in New York.

The co-owner Erin Neary is in charge of the purchase of books; the husband of her, Nat Esten, oversees the wine selection and also the liquor selection, after they received a full licensing for liquor back in May. “We wanted to combine two of our favorite things and create a cozy space where people could read,” Neary explained. The store’s sales have been so great since the couple first opened their first store in November and is currently looking for another store located in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Buzzed Word | Ocean City, Md.

It was reported that the Buzzed Word was an Instagram account that focused on pairing natural wines with books. the account’s creator, Mickie Meinhardt, turned into a bricks and mortar store in the summer of 2021. Meinhardt was a resident of Ocean City from Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2020 to care for her mother. She had the idea of opening her own store, in part as a way to serve the local community. “There hadn’t been a bookstore here since I was in high school,” she said.

The books are a diverse selection of titles selected by Meinhardt while the vinos are organic wines from all over the globe, priced at $11 per glass. Meinhardt also offers wines by the bottle and charges the cost of $10 to serve and open them at the shop. “People come in for the books and find they can have a glass of wine,” she added. “The two businesses complement one another.”

Drink Books | Seattle, Wash.

In the year 2019, Kim Kent started Book Cru online as a wine and book club that charged an annual fee for a novel and bottle of wine, along with tasting guides. The following year she opened an outlet within Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood in Seattle. The store Kent offered natural wines and books from August 2023 in which the building was planned to be demolished.

Before the launch of the store and club, Kent worked in many Seattle restaurants as well as the director of an unpublished university press. In the future, she intends to keep Drink Books in the form of a bookshop pop-up as well as a wine and book club on the internet (drink-books.com) with local pickup within Seattle. She will also deliver books, however, not wine, to patrons across the nation.

Kent is a reader of each book that she offers, and also tastes every wine she purchases, as well. Her pairings was “Malina,” a novel written by Austrian author and poet Ingeborg Bachmann, and the 2020 Anne-Sophie dubois Fleurie l’Alchim excellent Beaujolais cru. “This month’s wine is one that’s existed in my consciousness for some time,” she wrote. “Not forgotten, per se, but waiting…And while distortion is the word I would use to describe Bachmann’s narrative magic, transformation is more appropriate for Dubois’ brand of alchemy.”

Vintage Bookstore & Wine Bar | Austin, Texas

The original owner, Jean Buckner, was working for

when she came up with the idea of opening a bookstore/wine bar near her hometown of Austin. She had always dreamed of having a bookstore since she was a kid; however, Buckner, the adult, knew that the book’s profit margin was very low. It was time to find a complementing business, and wine seemed to be the obvious option.In the midst of four years’ making plans, Buckner opened Vintage Bookstore & Wine Bar in the month of October 2022. The interior is chic, with tall bookshelves and upholstered sofas, but friendly and welcoming. “We want to be Austin’s living room,” said Buckner. The book titles, both either new or used, are around 2,000 and the wine list, curated by Buckner has 29 glass options, such as Wade Cellars Three by Wade Cellars Three by Wade Chenin Blanc ($14) and Zardetto Prosecco ($10). Bottled wines are typically priced at more than four times the price of a glass. Each month, Buckner showcases a winery in the state. “We want to raise awareness of Texas wine,” she said.

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