A Guide to Wine Tasting in Iowa

Iowa is a rural state, thus not the first place many people think of when it comes to wine tasting.

However, there is no shortage of establishments in the state of Iowa that are passionate about the world of wine, and wine tasting in Iowa can be an unforgettable experience!

Where to Go for Wine Tasting in Iowa

Des Moines

des moines

Des Moines is the capital of the state of Iowa and the largest city in the state by population.

It is well known within the state for its quickly expanding wine scene, as many new wine bars have been sprouting up over the last few years, making it a great place to visit for Iowa wine tasting.

Louie’s Wine Dive is an upscale restaurant with a “wine first” mentality. The wine list includes selections from France and Italy, along with a deep catalog of New World wines from California and Oregon. They also offer a wine club program with monthly tasting events.

It is no secret that good cheese and good wine are a match made in heaven, and Cheese Bar brings some next-level wine and cheese pairings to the Des Moines area.

They offer some of the best charcuterie boards in town, and run Champagne specials all week!

The Purveyor is a unique concept and boasts a fantastic wine list they claim to be “Iowa’s Finest.” It serves many purposes, selling locally crafted goods as well as pastries in a European-style cafe.

The Purveyor serves wine, sells it retail, and focuses on wine education.

Jasper Winery produces a large variety of both canned and bottled wines, and their winery is one of the best destinations for wine tasting in the state.

Their tasting room serves wine flights, and they also offer private reserved tastings for large groups.

Wines Of Iowa is a wine shop that focuses on showcasing the best wines the state of Iowa has to offer.

Every bottle found here is produced in the state of Iowa, and their friendly staff host fantastic wine tastings that are extremely informative and educational.

Cedar Rapids

cedar rapids

Cedar Rapids is located in Eastern Iowa, and the area is the largest corn processing city in the entire world. They excel in much more than that, however, as some of the state’s coolest and fastest growing wine bars are located here.

WineStyles Tasting Station is a wine and beer shop in Cedar Rapids that offers in-store tastings and hosts a multitude of different events and educational series every month.

They have one of the largest selections of beer and wine in the state, and their staff is extremely knowledgeable.

Vineria Wine Shop is a combination of a wine shop, wine bar, and an Italian-style pizzeria. They have a huge selection of wines that are rated 90 points or higher, and categorize them by price to make things easy for the customer. They also serve some of the best pizza in the CR area!

1st Avenue Wine House has been in operation for over 18 years and is a staple in the Cedar Rapids wine community.

It is located inside of a repurposed family home, with each room containing different styles of wine and gifts. Their large patio is perfect for summer gatherings.

Davenport

davenport

Davenport Iowa is one of the most beautiful cities in the state of Iowa, and the city is home to over 50 parks. It is also home to an up-and-coming wine scene, and there are some very cool wine shops, bars, and restaurants around town.

Grape Life Wine Store & Lounge has been serving the Davenport community for over 13 years and is one of the first answers given when asking locals about their favorite wine bars.

Their laid-back lounge setting is truly one of a kind, and they offer a monthly wine club membership.

Wide River Winery is located in East Davenport and produces all kinds of different wines. They offer a monthly wine club membership, as well as private tours of the vineyards and winery.

They are one of the largest wine producers in the area, and make over 15,000 gallons per year!

Cru Bottle Shop has something on the menu for everyone to enjoy – from upscale bottles of expensive wine to specialty cocktails and craft beer.

This is well known by locals as one of the best date spots in town, and should not be passed up by visitors to the area.

Sioux City

sioux city

Sioux City is steeped in history, as the area was passed through by famous explorers Lewis and Clark on their famous westward expedition.

The area is home to a variety of different wine concepts, from upscale wineries and restaurants to casual bars and pubs.

Oscar Carl Vineyard produces 10 different types of wine, and their winery is a fantastic place to visit and tour.

They are locally owned and operated, and their intimate venue and friendly staff make all visitors feel right at home for a fantastic wine tasting experience.

Table 32 is one of the best restaurants in Sioux City, and boasts one of its deepest wine lists as well. Their eclectic menu features primarily new American cuisine, and they have bottles of wine from all over the world.

They also have a large selection of sparkling and dessert wines.

The Diving Elk is a laid-back and casual bar with a strong wine list. This is a great place for the casual wine enthusiast to watch sports with friends while still having access to some quality wine selections.

They serve traditional comfort food in a friendly pub setting.

Iowa City

iowa city

Iowa City is home to The University of Iowa, making it a hub of activity among younger wine enthusiasts.

From upscale Italian and rooftop establishments to intimate wine and cheese shops, there is enough variety for all wine drinkers in Iowa City.

Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar is impeccably decorated and offers a fantastic space for Iowa City wine enthusiasts to congregate and drink high-quality wine from all over the world.

They started as a wine and cheese shop, and local support helped them grow to a full restaurant.

Vue Rooftop is located on top of the Downtown Hilton Garden Inn and is one of the sleekest and most upscale restaurants in the area.

Well known as one of the best date night spots in town, their full wine list has enough selections to ensure something for everyone to enjoy.

Baroncini Ristorante is a charming Italian restaurant that is steeped in tradition.

Everything from the traditional table settings and decorations to the house-made dough and pasta makes Baroncini feel authentically Italian, and their Italian wines are sure to please.

Wine Tasting in Iowa – Conclusion

There are tons of different options when it comes to wine tasting in Iowa, from upscale rooftop restaurants to rustic winery tours.

The wine scene in this state is one of the most quickly emerging anywhere in the Midwest, and the future looks bright!

There are enough options available for everyone to have a great time wine tasting in Iowa. Feel free to comment below and let us know your favorite place to grab a glass of wine in the Hawkeye State!

Further Reading

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