Food & Drink

The Sipping Point

Certain things should be a challenge. Decathlons. Medical school. War and Peace.

But drinking wine with friends? Not the time to strain your brain.

They haven’t lost the plot at the newly opened Vintage Wine Bar, where all traces of intimidation are stripped from the experience. No pretentious descriptions (“lush and chewy on the palate with wisps of coffee and blackberry”), no dissertations on the heritage of rare Sicilian grapes, no snobby sommelier to snicker at your tasting routine (or lack thereof). Just a laid-back, minimalist 1,700-square-foot spot — complete with fireplace, exposed-brick walls and funky oversize paintings. It’s the perfect setting to sample wines helpfully grouped by varietals, with a few wild cards thrown in for fun (Strawberry Boone’s, anyone?). And since wine is best enjoyed with food, try one of their small plates, from smoked salmon to filet mignon.

A word of advice: Arrive early. Once word gets out, finding a seat at Vintage will be challenge enough.

Vintage Wine Bar, 1942 West Division Street, between Damen Avenue and Honore Street (773-772-3400).