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While craft beer breweries proliferate throughout the Charlotte and Lake Norman areas, wine lovers may wonder, “What about us?” Well, we’ve done the leg work and compiled the definitive list of the best places around the Lake Norman area to enjoy a glass (or bottle) of vino. 

Here are our 10 favorite wine bars in the Lake Norman area!

1. Davidson Wine Company

Overview: Davidson Wine Co. is Lake Norman’s only urban winery. As an urban winery, they make their own wine, but don’t grow the grapes. Thus, they are able to source grapes from a variety of vineyards around the world and craft their wine locally. 

Vibe: Davidson Wine Co. is located in historic downtown Davidson, NC, just around the corner from the highly acclaimed Kindred restaurant. The space was an organ making shop in its previous life, and the bar is adorned with the huge pipes of an antique organ. Overall, you’ll find an atmosphere of comfortable sophistication.

Wine: The wine menu is seasonal and subject to change. As of this writing, the menu featured selections such as Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pink Moscato, Pinot Grigio, and a Green Apple Riesling – all crafted locally by Davidson Wine Co. The menu also features wine selection from other wineries in California, the Pacific Northwest, and Spain.

Pairings: The menu at Davidson Wine Co. also features a fine selection of food pairings for your enjoyment. Choose from cheese & charcuterie boards, salads, small plates, flatbread, and sweet treats like assorted local truffles. Guests who prefer beer to wine will find a rotating selection of local craft brews to enjoy.

Davidson Wine Company was also featured on the podcast back in episode 14.

Davidson Wine Company

Location & Hours: 121 Depot Street, Davidson, NC, 28036. Open Tuesday-Wednesday, 4pm-9pm; Thursday-Saturday, 2pm-10pm; Sunday, 1pm-5pm; Closed Monday.

2. The Cottage

Overview: The Cottage is the first of three bars under the management of wine connoisseur Trudi Zangardi. Established in 2010, this homey market-lounge hybrid offers guests a uniquely comfortable atmosphere, coupled with hospitality and charm that have since become the trademarks of Trudi’s empire. 

Vibe: True to its name, The Cottage is just that—a home whose rooms are furnished with a collection of individually-sourced pieces; plush couches, worn mahogany tables, and endearing knick-knacks give each room its own down-home character. Placed against the scenic backdrop of the Lake Norman harbor, this venue offers the warmth of a living room and the splendor of a destination villa all in one. 

Wine: The Cabin has a wide variety of beverages, all of which are hand-picked by Trudi. Whether you lean toward whites, reds, or bubblies, you’ll be able to enjoy a selection of wines sourced from all over the world. Particulars are subject to change, but rest assured that your glass will not go empty. 

Pairings: While the menu does have a few staples such as charcuterie and other small bites, you’ll find set meals on Fridays, Saturdays, or other event days when tastings are being held. Typical offerings include pasta, salad, and protein/vegetable entrees.

The Cottage

Location & Hours: 200 N Harbor Pl Dr, Davidson, NC 28036. Open 12pm-9pm daily.

3. The Cabin

Overview: The second of Trudi’s extraordinary lounges is The Cabin, a cozy lakeside pub just a short walk away from The Cottage. In the eight years it’s been in business, this little nook has amassed somewhat of a cult following due to its intimate atmosphere and entertainment. 

Vibe: Similar to The Cottage, The Cabin’s interior is about what you would expect given its name. Cushy mix-n’-match seating, nature-inspired decor, and plenty of wooden fixtures that’ll have you snug as a bug in a rug (I’m pretty sure I even saw some Lincoln Logs on the shelf)! To enhance the nostalgia factor, The Cabin also hosts live performances from local musicians—if you’re lucky, you might be able to catch some of your favorite tunes. 

Wine: Albeit small, The Cabin’s wine selection is superb, featuring only a handful of the highest quality beverages. You can expect to find essential varieties such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet, and Pinot Noir, among others. 

Pairings: The Cabin does not typically serve food, but special arrangements may be made in advance for large gatherings and private events.

The Cabin

Location & Hours: 400 N Harbor Pl Dr, Davidson, NC 28036. Sunday-Wednesday:  4pm-10pm. Thursday-Saturday: 4pm-11pm.

4. The Barrel

Overview: The last of these three wine musketeers (but certainly not the least) is The Barrel. Perhaps the most unique of Trudi Zangardi’s locations, this wine boutique and retail gift shop is a bold yet welcome step away from the quaint ambiance we’ve come to expect from Trudi.. From the serendipitous dining table, to the antique piano played by Abraham Lincoln, The Barrel is a collection of stories and mementos that exude a certain elegance you can’t find anywhere else. 

Vibe: Sorry to burst your bubble, but The Barrel is not an actual Barrel. It is, however, a beautifully conceived parlor that’s all but overflowing with elegance and exclusivity. Despite its upscale atmosphere, the accommodating staff and the ever-charismatic Trudi imbibe the joint with a personal touch that makes you feel as though you grew up there. Every inch of The Barrel, its staff—and its beverages—has an interesting story waiting to be uncovered. 

Wine: As it also functions as a retail gift shop, The Barrel has a massive collection of wines from all places imaginable. There’s not a single variety that you’ll have trouble finding. If the selection is overwhelming, count on Trudi’s expertise to guide you to the perfect glass. Or bottle. 

Pairings: Just like The Cottage, you’ll be able to find mostly lighter fare, with a fuller menu on nights when tastings or events are being held. 

The Barrel

Location & Hours: 1082 A Brawley School Road Mooresville, NC 28117. Monday-Friday: 10am-9pm. Saturday: 2pm-9pm. Closed Sundays.

5. Corkscrew Wine Pub in Birkdale Village

Photo Credit: @lakenormanfood

Overview: Corkscrew Wine Pub in Birkdale Village (Huntersville) is the Corkscrew brand’s first location and an anchor at the popular Lake Norman retail destination for more than a decade. 

Vibe: You’ll find the staff “Pouring Good Times” in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. A great neighborhood wine pub and place to destress from a long day at work. Relax inside, or enjoy your wine al fresco on their outdoor patio, and feel free to bring your dog. 

Wine: The wine menu at Corkscrew Wine Pub is extensive. Choose from more than forty selections by the glass of Red, White. Rose’, and Sparkling wines from around the globe. By the bottle, you’ll find more than 300 choices.

Pairings: The menu at Corkscrew includes a nice selection of exquisite cheese & charcuterie boards, as well as small plates including housemade hummus, local pimento cheeses, housemade dips, and nut bowls. For dessert, try the Cassinelli Chocolate Truffles. Beer lovers will enjoy a list of craft beer offerings from the U.S., Germany, and Belgium, PLUS several ciders to choose from.

Corkscrew Wine Pub in Birkdale Village

Location & Hours: 16916 Birkdale Commons Blvd, Huntersville, NC 28078. Open Monday-Thursday, 1pm-11pm; Friday-Saturday 1pm-12am; Sunday 1pm-10pm.

Photo Credit: @lakenormanfood

6. The Cork and Cask

Overview: The Cork and Cask in Cornelius is the quintessential neighborhood joint that pairs boutique wines with an extensive menu of unique bar-forward food offerings. Bring an appetite!

Vibe: When it comes to vibe, Cork and Cask says it best: “Our look and feel is a mixture of pop culture shrine, rock ‘n’ roll vibe, neighborhood hang, and your parents’ basement from the ‘70s.” That about sums it up. One visit and you’ll understand. Belly up to the bar, take a high-top table, or sink into one of their comfy sofas. There are a few tables outside, too.

Wine: The Cork and Cask prides itself on a carefully curated wine list that’s unique to the Lake Norman area. You’re bound to see some unfamiliar selections, and the staff is more than happy to help you pick one that suits your palate. 

Pairings: The food menu really sets The Cork and Cask apart from the other bars on this list. It’s actually less of a menu, and more of a “culinary journey!” The Chef-driven menu includes cheese & charcuterie boards, flatbread pizzas, creative & gooey sandwiches, bar snacks, and some really amazing tacos. It’s a delicious experience, unique to the Lake Norman area.

The Cork and Cask

Location & Hours: 9624 Bailey Road, Cornelius, NC 28031. Open Tuesday-Thursday, 4pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 4pm-11pm; Closed Monday.

7. BIN 110

Overview: BIN 110 is an upscale night spot located in Cornelius. More of a cocktail lounge, really, but with an extensive wine list featuring more than 100 labels. Watch for BIN 110’s appearance on a few more of our lists in the future.

Vibe: Did we mention BIN 110 is quite the cocktail lounge? Over 250 bottles of fine whiskey adorn the walls behind the bar. Indeed, one-third of the menu consists of craft cocktail choices along with the best whiskey selection on the Lake. The BIN is touted as Lake Norman’s premier night spot, so you’ll find all the appropriate ambiance here. They also present live music weekly, and regularly book the area’s best talent – including the guy that sang at my wedding! Don’t ask… I’m sworn to secrecy. 

Wine: BIN 110 may be best known as a premier whiskey bar, but don’t worry – when it comes to wine, they have it where it counts. With over 100 wines on the list, you’re sure to find one (or three) that suits you. As per usual, you’ll find whites, reds, and bubbly wine on the menu. You’ll also find menu areas labelled “interesting reds” and “interesting whites.” Something for the adventurous.

Pairings: The food menu consists of the typical cheese board, flatbreads, and dips. I’m partial to the Chex Mix and Almonds. Let’s face it, you’re not going to BIN 110 for a meal. You’re going to drink and get your groove on. Plan accordingly.

BIN 110

Location & Hours: 19712 One Norman Blvd, Cornelius, NC 28031. Open Tuesday-Wednesday, 4pm-10pm; Thursday-Saturday, 4pm-1am; Closed Sunday-Monday.

8. 202 North Main Fine Wines, Spirits & Music Room

Overview: 202 North Main Fine Wine Bar and Music Room is located in Historic Downtown Mooresville. The space is in a historic Victorian building, and restored by owner Michael Parker.

Vibe: Inside 202 North Main, you’ll find the distressed wood floors and exposed brick walls of the building that dates back to the early 1900’s. Lovingly restored, the space exudes warm and cozy vibes, and is the perfect venue for small intimate gatherings and live music. There are two areas here: 1.) a wine shop featuring fine wines, spirits, and craft beers, and 2.) a specially designed acoustical main music room where you’ll find live performances on Friday and Saturday nights.

Wine: 202 North Main sells wine by the bottle or the glass, and has something for every wine drinker. Wine tasting events are held here frequently, so be sure to check the calendar of events on their website to stay up to date. In addition to fine wines, 202 North Main also offers craft cocktails, premium bourbons, scotch of the single malt variety, as well as locally brewed craft beer.

Pairings: Wine bars aren’t generally known for their food menus, and 202 North Main is no exception. Here you’ll find Boar’s Head meat and cheese trays and crackers… and that’s about it. A place to visit after dinner, for sure.

202 North Main Fine Wines, Spirits & Music Room

Location & Hours: 202 North Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28115. Open Thursday 5pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday 4pm-11:30pm; Closed Sunday-Wednesday.

9. Carbonation

Overview: Carbonation is a craft beer and wine shop located in Cornelius. Known for their extensive selection of craft beers, Carbonation also offers a selection of quality wines.

Vibe: Carbonation is a relaxed spot, very much in the spirit of a neighborhood pub. They promote a fun, friendly, community atmosphere. Live sports can be viewed on their large HD projection screen TV, and there’s outdoor patio seating available for those fair weather evenings. They also hold open mic nights and live music performances by local artists. 

Wine: While known mostly as a craft beer tap room and bottle shop, Carbonation does offer a fine selection of quality wines. You can enjoy a bottle there at the bar, or take it home. The menu includes the usual choices of red and white varieties, as well as seasonal choices.

Pairings: Carbonation doesn’t offer a food menu, but they are located in The Shoppes On The Green where you’ll find several fine local eateries. You can order take-out, and enjoy it at Carbonation. Nearby establishments include Sangum Indian Restaurant (excellent!), El Toro Mexican, and Prosciutto’s Pizza… to name a few.

Carbonation

Location & Hours: Open Sunday-Thursday, 3pm-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 3pm-10pm. Expanded hours during football season.

10. Old Town Public House

Overview: Old Town Public House {OTPH} resides in the historic district of Cornelius. The neighborhood pub is a transformation of Ma Herrill’s dime store from a century ago. 

Vibe: Steeped in history, and in a building more than a century old, Old Town Public House is as comfy and inviting as it gets. The space is adorned with the original exposed brick walls and wood floors. The walls are also adorned with local artwork. A coffee bar by day, OTPH extends that cozy atmosphere into the evening with live music 5-nights a week. Speaking of cozy: be sure to try the red sofa!

Wine: Another establishment well known for its extensive selection of fine craft beers, OTPH also boasts a curated list of quality wines. All the usual styles are here, but lovers of fizzy wine will rejoice at the sight of prosecco on tap. In addition to craft beers and fine wines, OTPH also offers craft sodas and local kombuchas. 

Pairings: While OTPH doesn’t offer a food menu, they do attract some of the best food trucks in the region. The lineup changes frequently, so be sure to follow them on Facebook to see who’s curbside this week.

Old Town Public House

Location & Hours (including coffee shop): Monday-Wednesday, 7am-10pm; Thursday-Friday, 7am-11pm; Saturday 7am-9pm; Sunday 2pm-9pm.

There you have it – our 10 favorite wine bars in the Lake Norman area! There’s something on this list for just about everyone that loves wine. Cheers, Lake Norman!