Last Updated on August 25, 2020 by Jeremy
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Mary's Vine is a high-end wine bar that opened in the Pittsburgh borough of Rankin in late 2019.
This one can be found in a converted church and provides an ambiance and wine selection that is truly unlike no other wine bar in the region.
So if strong attention to detail and an impressive (albeit expensive) wine selection is what you seek, a trip to Mary's Vine is a must.
Mary's Vine Has Checked Every Box for a Wine Bar
From the moment you walk into Mary's Vine, you'll get the feeling that the owners have thought of everything.
Valet parking is available on-site. The church has been beautifully restored. Everything is soundproofed. The chairs can be arranged to accommodate any size group in many configurations. The nightly musician is perched high above the crowd next to the organ to provide wonderful background music. The bathrooms are in the running for some of the most impressive in the region. And so on.
Perhaps what is most impressive about all of these features is the app system available on tablets at every seat. This custom program features Mary Vine's extensive wine library, including explanations of each, and a novel sorting system where you can pick between grape varietals, country of origin, and so much more.
Even better is that you can create an account on this app and save your favorites, so that way when you return for a second visit you can simply log in, check out your favorites, and see if any are in stock for by the bottle or glass purchases. It is subtle details like this that we absolutely love, although I have to admit I spent more time talking wine with the on-site sommelier and did not get to play with the app nearly as much as I would've liked.
Oh, and about that valet parking? You can even scan your ticket into the app and hit a “call valet” button at the end of the night and they'll have the car pulled around for you when you leave.
They really have thought of everything!
Their Wine List is Impressive
So, how about the wine? We can't have a review of a wine bar without talking about their collection, and what a collection it is!
Mary's Vine features just under 400 wines available by the bottle, and 75 of which are available by the glass. During my visit the bar also boasted an impressive wine flight list where you could pick a red or white flight from various regions from around the world (USA, Italy, France, South Africa, etc) and sample your way around four different wines from a specific country or region.
Both the wines by the glass and flights will rotate every few months, so those who visit regularly for flights or glasses will get a chance to try out more of the bottle collection over time as well. Just don't be surprised if a favorite glass ends up only being available by the bottle later!
As I was spending a bit of time talking to the sommelier, I decided to go for recommendations for individual glasses. As we got on the topic of Malbec (one of my favorite styles), he asked if I ever had a French Malbec, to which I replied I had not and the bottle appeared quickly thereafter.
What I liked about this scenario was that Mary's Vine lets you have a small sample of any wine you want to try by the glass before committing on a purchase, as they do not want you to purchase a glass you will not enjoy- another little detail that makes a big difference.
The Malbec was like that for me (a bit too peppery for my taste buds at the time), and I was able to go for another wine without committing on the purchase.
I ended up having two rather delicious wines from Europe and a small plate of duck confit crostinis (topped with goat cheese, honey, thyme, and a Grand Marnier glaze) to go with it. While I could talk about the wine itself, it would be better to jump to the food and note that Mary's Vine only serves small plates that are designed to share amongst the table. While my duck confit only consisted of two crostinis, I was quite pleased with the amount of duck that was included on it as it definitely helps offset the $15 price tag.
In fact, all of this comes together to bring me to what is perhaps the most important thing to talk about with regards to Mary's Vine, and it has less to do with the wine and food itself and more to do with the price.
A Final Note About Price at Mary's Vine
When looking through the menu at Mary's Vine, you'll quickly note that wine prices rise rather quickly. During my visit there were several wines by the glass in the $10-$12 range (a common price point in Pittsburgh), but prices also trended around $15-$20+ for what I'd approximate at more than half of the available wines on the menu. Likewise, wine flights start at $25 and trend north of $30 as well.
On the surface, these prices seem quite high. So it is true, you're going to have a nice sized tab here no matter how you look at it.
But when you consider the fact that many of the wines available at this bar are on the higher-end to begin with, some of the price points start to make sense. Most wine bars would reserve these wines to be bottle purchases only, so having an option to get them by the glass is always appreciated even if it results in some sticker shock for an equivalent glass price.
I only point this out because I do not think that everyone will want to justify $20 for a glass of wine when visiting this one. Likewise, $30+ for most of the flights may also be a turnoff when considering price alone (although at four 3 oz samples, this amounts to being 2 1/2 glasses of wine and averages out to a pretty good value).
All things being equal, Mary's Vine is a high-end wine bar. This carries on through its ambiance, wine selection, and of course, price. Some of these prices are quite high for Pittsburgh, but also because our wine bar scene is still relatively small with only a few spots being as ambitious as this one.
So while we think this one is definitely catering towards those looking for such elevated wine experience (with price to match), it is also important to highlight that there are more affordable options on the menu as well. That being said, when we visit odds are good we'll be trying some of the nicer wines because, to be honest, our options for such things are limited in the city. For that, we can appreciate it!
Marys Vine is located at 211 Kenmawr Avenue in Rankin, PA.
Looking for more wine bars in Pittsburgh? Click the previous link to check out our guide to them all!