Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on August 27, 2020.
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Every so often we'll open our mouths and say that we need more wine bars in Pittsburgh, and whenever we do one seems to open the following week.
This was the case for Spill, a wine bar that opened in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood in early 2019. Naturally, I rushed over to it during their soft opening to try it out as quickly as possible- and I was hooked.
Spill Wine Bar is Our Kind of Spot
In a way, Spill Wine Bar follows the pattern of Market Street Grocery's wine bar in downtown Pittsburgh. They do not feature a curated wine list from dozens of vineyards from around the world (as is common at most bars like these), and instead feature numerous wines from just four specific vineyards that are imported directly- three from Italy and one from Australia.
One of these featured vineyards is none other than Collefrisio- the sole vineyard represented at Market Street Grocery and the only other spot we know of them being distributed in the region (I later found out the owners of these two wine bars are related, although the businesses themselves are distinctly separate entities- so this connection is not as surprising as it first seemed).
The first thing you'll notice when entering is that this spot is actually fairly small. The one-room shop is split in half with the front portion being open for bottle sales, and the back half is home to a small bar and a few tables.
I was ushered to the bar by the owner (along with my mother who happened to be taking Angie's place for the day), and we were quickly offered numerous samples.
While this bar offers wine by the glass and frequent rotating specials, the real highlight of the visit was our sampling experience.
At the time of opening sampling here was complimentary in a no-pressure environment. The owner took great care to learn more about our wine tastes, what we've had in the past (likes and dislikes), and ended up pouring samples of various wines all while taking great care to explain what we were to enjoy and why he selected it for us.
Whether we liked the wine or not was immaterial because the process was about finding the best wine for each of us. So we sampled a wine equivalent to a house red, then a more premium red of a specific grape varietal or region, then shifted tastes ever-so-slightly when a new topic of wine preferences came up.
By the end, well, I'll let you count from the photo above how many samples we went through, and it was ultimately complementary for every single splash.
Had we had room for more, full glasses are appropriately priced for about $6-$10 each, but we opted to buy several bottles to go which were also priced remarkably well for their styles.
In most reviews, this would be the point where I highlight the wines that I think you should try, but in this particular case I'm not going to do that. Part of the fun about visiting Spill is spending some time with the owners at the bar, having them learn more about you (and you of them), and letting the tasting take its course as you find the right wines for your own unique palate.
In any case, odds are good you're going to walk out of this one with a greater appreciation for a few wine styles, perhaps a few bottles, and a desire to go back as soon as possible to enjoy what is the best part about the entire experience- the hospitality.
While we still attest that Pittsburgh needs more wine bars, we've got to say, when they finally come we really hope they're a lot like Spill.
Spill Wine Bar is located at 4800 Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield. The bar welcomes food brought in from Lombardozzi's next door and is hoping to have live music and food trucks in the future as well!
Looking for more great wine in Pittsburgh? Check out the area Pittsburgh wineries!