Drinker's Choice Winner, Best Wine Bar: 13.5% Wine Bar

Drinker's Choice Winner, Best Wine Bar: 13.5% Wine Bar

Wayne Laing ran successful retail shop Wine Underground for several years, but he wanted a closer connection with his customers, so in 2008 he sold the retail business and set about launching a restaurant. His ode to oenophiles 13.5% Wine Bar offers more than 40 wines by the glass and over 200 by the bottle, so it’s no surprise that you gave the Best Wine Bar nod to this “hip in Hampden” hangout in our 2012 Drinker's Choice Awards. We caught up with manager Joe McLean via email to hear what makes the bar special and find out where the 13.5% team might sip vino on a night off.

– Can you name two (or more) specific things that make 13.5% Wine Bar special/deserving of the win?

Outside of our phenomenal kitchen and our outstanding, eclectic wine list, the two biggest factors that set 13.5% apart are our staff and our ambiance.

Our engaging staff brings a warm, educated, informative, and professional attitude to the table every time, all the while leaving behind the pretension and snootiness that can be so prevalent in the wine conversation these days.

This is framed by the inviting aesthetics of 13.5%, which really draw our guests into the experience.  I can't tell you how many out-of-towners come in and comment on how 13.5 reminds them of New York, but our regulars understand that we're just a part of the Hampden that we all know and love.  It's that sort of combination that makes 13.5% so unique.

– Can you briefly tell us why you were inspired to open 13.5% Wine Bar?

Our owner wanted to use his love of wine, food, and fun to provide Baltimore with a place that is a unique fusion of wine bar, restaurant, and late night spot.

– If you had to choose another winner in this category that is not your establishment(s), who would you choose?

Our sister location, Silo.5% in Locust Point offers the best of 13.5% in a grander scale. However, outside of the family, Grand Cru is probably the wine bar we're most likely to patronize on our days off.

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Visit Drink Baltimore on Your Phone
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Where to Drink Outside in Baltimore During Summer 2019

Where to Drink Outside in Baltimore During Summer 2019

Whether it's on the waterfront with seafood and crushes or on a dog-friendly deck with whiskey, outdoor drinking is a staple in this city....read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera May 14, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
Welcome Warmer Weather & Sip These Spring Cocktails in Baltimore

Welcome Warmer Weather & Sip These Spring Cocktails in Baltimore

With snow and winter winds behind us, it’s time to step into spring. Is there any better way to put a spring in your step than with some seasonal si...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 17, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Brewer's Hill

Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Brewer's Hill

Is there a better name for a place to bar hop in Baltimore than Brewer's Hill? Here's our guide to their best bars. ...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 2, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close