Best of Denver

Five Cozy Wine Bars for Cold Winter Nights

Wine and a fireplace at Virgilio's — the perfect winter retreat.
Wine and a fireplace at Virgilio's — the perfect winter retreat. Krista Kafer

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click to enlarge Beatrice & Woodsley is a charming escape from the city for wine lovers. - KRISTA KAFER
Beatrice & Woodsley is a charming escape from the city for wine lovers.
Krista Kafer
Beatrice & Woodsley
38 South Broadway
303-777-3505

The entrance to Beatrice & Woodsley is easy to miss; the utterly nondescript exterior (with only the tiniest sign on the door to tip you off) is nestled among more boldly advertised enterprises on this colorful block of Broadway. But inside lies a magical grove where patrons can sip wine under aspen trees. The dreamy restaurant decor was inspired by a story of a winemaker’s daughter who fell in love with the cooper’s son. The theme is not overdone, but instead the interior is delightfully cozy — and the wine list is exceptional, with choices from Europe, South America and the U.S. Beatrice & Woodsley is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, with brunch served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. (Oh, and it’s okay if you want to take a picture of the bathroom sink — you won't be the first.)

click to enlarge The house wines at Virgilio's depict the owner's parents on their wedding day. - KRISTA KAFER
The house wines at Virgilio's depict the owner's parents on their wedding day.
Krista Kafer
Virgilio's Pizzeria & Wine Bar
10025 West San Juan Way, Littleton
303-972-1011

Sometimes a destination in the outer suburbs is worth the drive. Virgilio’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar is one such place. Better known for its award-winning pizza, Virgilio’s offers an impressive sixty wines by the glass, including some hard-to-find varietals. “In the suburbs, there’s nothing like this,” says owner Virgilio Urbano. Originally located in a much smaller space in Belmar, where customers waited an hour to get a seat, the larger location still feels cozy, maybe because of the fireplaces and the old family photos decorating the walls. Even the labels of the house wines — Ruviano Chianti (named after the Italian town where Virgilio’s mother and father were married) and Ruviano Pinot Grigio — depict Urbano’s parents walking through their vineyard on their wedding day. The place can get really busy, particularly on a Friday night, but the dining room is divided into smaller rooms to maintain a cozy family atmosphere. Virgilio’s is open from 11 a.m. to 8:55 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily) specials include $3 off all wines by the glass and 20 percent off all bottles of wine. On Wednesdays, bottles of wine up to $75 are 50 percent off, and those over $75 are 20 percent off.

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Krista Kafer is a Denver native who relishes good food and wine. Her motto: Cultivate taste, but never get so refined you can’t drink cheap red wine.
Contact: Krista Kafer