Where to Go Wine Tasting in Hawaii: Best Wine Bars & Restaurants

By | Travel Journalist
Last Updated: May 15, 2024
Trending Wine Bars to Explore on Honolulu, Maui and the Big Island

Trending Wine Bars & Restaurants to Explore in Honolulu, Maui and on the Big Island

Paradise has a lot going for it but a thriving wine growing scene is about the one thing Hawaii is lacking. But that does not mean that the Rainbow State does not appreciate wine culture. In fact, as the home to countless sommeliers, amazing bars and restaurants and a year-round tourist influx, Hawaii touts an impressive list of places to go for a glass of something special.

Many of these wine bars and restaurants are located in Oahu, but they extend beyond Hawaii’s most populous island. So, next time you’re in this magical place of volcanoes, warm surf and the spirit of Aloha, raise a glass to it all at one of these wine-revering stops.

RELATED: 7 Enticing Reasons To Visit Hawaii (And When To Go)

Oahu

drinking a glass of Rose wine in Honolulu, Hawaii
Image courtesy FoxysGraphic.

Hawaii’s most populous island has its share of wine-friendly establishments. Many are located in Honolulu, with its robust culinary scene and diverse array of cuisines.

Senia

Senia Honolulu
Image courtesy Senia.

75 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817

(808) 200-5412

Chat anybody in Honolulu up about where to get a memorable meal and they’ll likely say Senia in Chinatown. Fusion on top of more fusion, the restaurant stresses Hawaiian ingredients and treats them to styles and techniques from all over the globe. The wine program is equally complex, with a glass pour list that gives nods to iconic regions like Champagne, Pfalz and Piemonte but also lesser-known dots on the wine map, like Turkey. We suggest playing passenger and let the capable staff guide you through the tasting menu, a vacation-worthy splurge you won’t soon forget. Wine director and somm Chris Ramelb is a rising star and knows his way around a great pairing.

Taormina

Taormina Honolulu

227 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 926-5050

This Sicilian restaurant borrows its name from the seaside town in Italy and nails pasta and seafood. It is one of few places in Hawaii to house a Master Sommelier in Roberto Viernes, who garnered the designation back in 2005. At the restaurant, he’s put together one of the most eye-catching wine lists in the state, fit with some 125 offerings from around the world. A glass pour list of about 15 options covers the map, with wines from various regions in Italy, California, Washington State and more. By the bottle, there are many adventurous routes to take, like aged Barbaresco, famed Chateau Latour, and character-driven wines from the volcanic soils near Mt. Etna, right near the village of Taormina.

RELATED: Best Sicily Wine Tours: Etna, Catania & Taormina 2024

Vintage Island Wine Bar

Vintage Island Wine Bar
Image courtesy Vintage Island Wine Bar.

2301 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 799-9463

A beautiful wine bar with an airy feel that matches its Waikiki backdrop, Vintage Island opened in 2019. Some 40 wines are available by way of the bar’s state-of-the-art dispenser and guests can also engage in wine flights and pair them up with the bar’s menu of sophisticated comfort food. While the wine list changes often, you can count on some unique finds from storied places like Spain, the Willamette Valley, Argentina, Portugal and the Mosel. They even tend to pour Hawaiian mead, if you feel like going local, and tout both sparkling and dessert styles, in addition to a bunch of reds, whites and pinks.

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii, Wine Bars and Restaurants
Image courtesy Turtle Bay Resort.

57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731

(866) 475-2567

Up on the famed north shore where big wave surfing was born resides Turtle Bay. This standout resort boasts some of the best views and warmest hospitality around, not to mention a stellar food and drink philosophy that pulls a lot from a massive co-op farm just across the street. About ten dining options exist on the oceanfront property, many offering a healthy number of solid wine choices. For a glass at a stunning bar that spills directly into an infinity pool, head over to Off The Lip for a refreshing Albariño or balanced Pinot Noir. For something a little more involved — not to mention a great corresponding meal — book a table at Alaia, where the farm’s bounty is really put to work. The cocktails are great but so too is the approachable wine list, featuring finds from Sonoma, Campana, the Rhone, Provence, Friuli, and more. And you can always grab a bottle from the resort’s market and bring it up to your room for the ultimate nightcap.

RECOMMENDED: Check Current Prices or Book Your Stay at Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii

Four Seasons

Four Seasons in Oahu
Image courtesy Four Seasons in Oahu.

92-1001 Olani St, Kapolei, HI 96707

(808) 679-0079

The Four Seasons in Oahu is nestled in the pristine west-facing neighborhood of Ko Olina, about a 20-minute drive from Honolulu. Here, guests can enjoy unfathomably picturesque sunsets as well as the signature Four Seasons treatment, so accommodating that you’d think you were royalty. Some of Oahu’s best restaurants are housed in the resort, including Mina’s Fish House and Noe. The latter is an Italian-inspired eatery with incredible house-made pasta and some choice wine offerings. Start with the burrata and pair it up with an acid-driven white before moving on to the signature tagliatelle with truffle and mushrooms. Better still, do the full tasting menu and try to get a seat on the restaurant’s stunning patio, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, a stream and the sound of the sea.

Vintage 1901

2365 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 931-8650

Part of the appeal of Vintage 1901 is its location, set within the beautifully preserved Moana Surfrider hotel in Waikiki. This was the first hotel constructed along the famous beach and the lobby where the wine bar sits hasn’t changed much since (and we mean that in a good way). Take in some live piano in the evenings, gaze out at one of the grandest banyan trees in the city and enjoy a selection of wines from regions like New York and Venezia, or sip something a little richer like a Port. The bottle list caters to the beach-y atmosphere, with plenty of celebratory bubbles and refreshing white wines and roses.

RECOMMENDED: Check Current Prices or Book Your Stay at Moana Surfrider Hotel

Maui

Drinking white wine in Maui
Image courtesy Melanie Maya / Getty.

There are countless reasons to visit Maui and in the wake of the 2023 wildfires, there are even more. The island continues to recover and respectful tourism will almost surely help the process.

King’s Cottage Tasting Room

14815 Piilani Hwy, Kula, HI 96790

(808) 878-6058

This place is the best kind of trip, set up in a historic estate built in the 1870s. It was created for the last reigning king of Hawaii and is now in the hands of MauiWine. They oversee wines under the Ulupalakua Vineyards label, as well as traditional sparkling wines and pineapple wines. Guests are encouraged to take a self-guided tour of the charming grounds with map in hand. Try a flight of wines, which include everything from white blends to estate GSM (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre), go with a dessert wine or try a wine cocktail. There are even wine-friendly bites, many focused on cheeses matched with tropical fruit creations or local breadfruit.

RELATED: 5-Day Maui Itinerary: The Best Things To Do

Matteo’s Osteria

161 Wailea Ike Pl A107, Wailea, HI 96753

(808) 891-8466

There’s a burgeoning theme here and it’s great wine in Italian-inspired restaurants throughout Hawaii (although it’s certainly not limited to those). Matteo’s is another fine example, set in the Wailea Town Center and equipped with a sprawling wine cellar stocked with more than 250 options. The selection of Italian wines is remarkable, spanning the many delightful appellations of the vine-covered Mediterranean nation. By the glass, you’ll find everything from Vermentino and Falanghina to Sangiovese and Nerello Mascalese. Feast, sip and repeat.

Merriman’s

Merriman’s Maui
Image courtesy Merriman’s Maui.

One Bay Club Place, Lahaina, HI 96761

(808) 669-6400

This farm-to-table restaurant boasts an attractive wine list, incredible ocean views and some of the best seafood in Hawaii. There’s a great ethos at play, a culinary philosophy that cherishes the farmer and covets freshness and sustainability. Much of the same can be said of the wine program, showcasing responsibly-grown options and biodynamic wines. The wine staff has sniffed out some fetching options from all over the place, including intriguing spots like Tasmania, Lebanon, Slovenia and more. The bottle list is in the running for best in Hawaii and by the glass you’ll find a broad array of gems, from Gruner Veltliner and Riesling to skin-fermented Pinot Grigio and Tempranillo. It’s a popular spot, and for good reason, but still very much worth a reservation, even if it’s a few days or weeks out.

Big Island

White wine by the beach on Hawaii's big island
Image courtesy Travnikov Studio.

The Big Island lives up to its billing and is framed by two cities — Hilo to the wetter east and Kona to the dryer west. The island is home to both a meadery and winery, so seek them out if you feel like trying some estate wines.

Kona Wine Market

Kona Wine Market
Image courtesy Kona Wine Market.

73-5613 Olowalu St #1, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

(808) 329-9400

One of the better retail outlets in all of the archipelago, Kona Wine Market has been doing its thing for more than three decades. That thing is offering knowledgeable service and a host of great liquids, including beer and spirits. But the wine section is the most respectable, taking on different styles from all over the world and without a painful amount of markup. Looking for a Grecian white? A Provencial Rose? A classic Champagne? Tannat from Uruguay? Northern California Riesling? Chilean Sauvignon Blanc? Kona Wine Market’s got you covered.

Hawaiian hospitality is a special thing so be sure to chat up the staff at the above locations for their suggestions on what to try and where else to go while in paradise. You’ll be amazed by the wine scene of this amazing island chain and might even come away with a new favorite pairing as you dig into some Hawaiian and pan-Asian cuisine. And you can even start your wine journey on the flight, as Hawaiian Airlines recently teamed up with the state’s first Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya to elevate its wine offerings in flight. Book your trip today!

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