Great wine bars are as much about atmosphere as good wine. Luckily, La Carafe has lots of both. Despite the popular misconception, La Carafe is not actually the oldest bar in Houston (that distinction belongs to Leon's), but it is housed in the oldest commercial building in town — supposedly it even has a ghost. Every time we walk in and slide up to the bar, we take a moment to enjoy the whole thing: the candlelight and the stalagmite-wax formations, the photos on the wall and that excellent jukebox. The place has a good wine list, and if you're unsure, the bartender will point you in the right direction. There's also beer for those not vino-inclined. This is not a wine bar for the sniff-swish-and-spit crowd, and that's why we love it.