Best Wine Bar (With Minimal Additives)

The Punchdown

The Punchdown serves so-called “natural” wines, made from hand-harvested organic grapes with minimal fussing — i.e., little to none of the added yeasts, sulfur, sugar, acids, tannins, and coloring agents that co-owners DC Looney and Lisa Costa say dominate the “Frankenwines” stocked on many wine shelves. It’s the kind of place with a totally obscure wine list, and where reference books are kept on a shelf in the back of the bar, just in case customers are extra-curious about Punchdown’s niche offerings. It’s a testament to the owners’ genuine love of wine that a bar with such a heavy ideological hand can seem so relaxed and, frankly, fun. It could easily win an award for “least pretentious” wine bar. From its Lou Reed-heavy soundtrack to the quality of its food, The Punchdown is a destination for any wine-lover — aficionados and otherwise.

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Oakland
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