My last article described wines by the glass and the perils that some of these programs can have. But that's not to say that you can't still enjoy them. In fact, sometimes you just want a reliable glass of wine. With some bites to eat. When that mood strikes, a good ol' fashioned happy hour fits the bill.
Seattle loves happy hour. And what's not to love; discounted food and drinks after work with friends! There are entire websites and features dedicated to navigating happy hours in Seattle. But what if you love wine? Are there happy hours that feature wine as their calling card, not just in the domain of draft beer and well drinks? Yes, yes there are. In fact, at some of these wine-focused happy hours you can experiment and try varietals you're unfamiliar with. Live a little; you can try another wine at tomorrow's happy hour.
Here's a by-no-means exhaustive list of happy hours for Seattle-area restaurants/wine bars:
ART Restaurant - Located inside the Four Seasons hotel, ART Restaurant's happy hour runs 5-7pm daily, with a late nightly happy hour from 9-11pm. With discounted draft wine specials from Piccolo Cellars, glasses run from $6-8. Added bonus for the happy hour is the cheese and antipasto counter.
Bar Ferd'nand - This wine shop and counter bar inside of Capitol Hill's Melrose Market has a happy hour (M-Sa 3-6pm) of white and red wine for $5 a glass. Selection varies, but with the shop's (and Matt Dillon's) tendency towards old world and the unique, you can almost always expect something funky.
Bottlehouse - This winery/shop/wine bar in Madrona offers a happy hour of two wines by the glass for $5 from 3-6pm Tu-Th. Bottlehouse also offers a $10 bottle night. Be sure to check out their happy hour cheeseboard and vermouth on tap.
Cicchetti - This Mediterranean-inspired sibling to Serafina in Eastlake offers a red, white, or rosé for $5 a glass. Cicchetti also has glasses of Spanish Cava for $5.
Le Caviste - While this recently opened Downtown space doesn't have a 'happy hour' per se, their wines by the glass program runs from $5-10. Even better is that they do not believe in the typical restaurant markup. Additionally the French-focused wine list covers all regions, so any Francophile will find something interesting.
Marché - With Cyril Frechier at the helm, the wine offerings at this Pike Place Market restaurant should be good. With two happy hours, an early one runs daily from 4:30-6:30pm with a late one from 10-11pm Th-Sa, and you can partake in either. If the happy hour list doesn't catch your fancy, I particularly like their 'Extreme Journey' flight; three wines poured into opaque glasses. With an absence of color, trying to pinpoint and identify what you're tasting makes for a fun challenge.
Purple - With four locations in the area, every Purple but the Downtown Seattle one has a wine happy hour that goes from 3-6pm M-F. While the Woodinville and Kirkland locations have $6.50 wines by the glass, the Bellevue Purple knocks two bucks off their glass offerings.
RN74 - Given that this Downtown restaurant is named after a highway in France's Burgundy region, you can be sure of a happy hour featuring those varietals. Currently, the happy hour wines are a La Cote Blanche (Chardonnay) and Les Jemelles (Pinot Noir). Both are $6 a glass from 4-6pm M-Sa.
Triumph Bar - In the EXPO complex in Lower Queen Anne, Triumph Bar has two daily happy hours from 3-6pm and 10pm-close with glasses of red, white, and asti for $6 a glass. The wine list at Triumph leans towards Italian wines and other producers around Washington and Oregon.