Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sipping through Dallas’ wine scene, glass by glass
Wine by the glass has the kind of no-brainer effortlessness that summer demands.
Editor's note: This continues our series of stories on summertime sips and specials. Up next: Non-alcoholic drinks.
Wine may not spell "s-u-m-m-e-r" the same way sangria does, but wine by the glass has exactly the kind of no-brainer effortlessness that summer demands, not unlike a cold beer. Sometimes you don't want to wade through a menu of fancy cocktails. Sometimes even a margarita seems too complicated. Sometimes all you want to say is, "I'll have a glass of chardonnay."
In no particular order:
Dali Wine Bar. Arts District boite has the most unique selection of wines by the glass. Lately, they've become known for their willingness to open any bottle in the restaurant, no matter how outrageously high-end, as long as the customer will commit to two glasses. You may not be able to afford an entire bottle of Opus, but a couple of glasses, what the hey. Of course, once the bottle is open, why stop at two glasses? Wine by the glass: LaFond Pinot Noir. $14.
Vino 100: McKinney Avenue hideaway searches out affordable wines priced at $25 or under. And these aren't wines you'll find on grocery store shelves. Live music contributes to the good vibe, as does their list of 17 wines by the glass, which they change out periodically, and which are half price during happy hour, 5 to 7 p.m. every night. Wine by the glass: Educated Guess Napa Valley cabernet. $13.
Veritas: Henderson Avenue haunt has developed a real neighborhood following thanks to good prices and a neat elegant farmhouse atmosphere. They have 300+ bottles and 20-25 wines by the glass. If you want to take one home, you can buy the bottle, too. Monday nights they do a boffo business with half-price glasses of wine and tons of cheese plates. Wine by the glass: Ridge Litton Springs 2006 red blend -- 80% zinfandel and 16% petit syrah. $15.
Cru: With three branches in some of Dallas' key neighborhoods, Cru dominates the area with its Euro-style wine bar feel and flights galore. The premise is essentially the same at all of the branches and so is their lineup of wine, but with a slight shift to accommodate neighborhoods: West Village has a younger crowd, Plano is older, and Allen is more family-oriented. Allen has also become more of a full-blown restaurant with mussels, crab cakes, pizza, and steak. Wine by the glass: Veraison Synchrony, a red blend. $25.
French Room: Hang out in the adjoining French Room Lounge where you can get the same wines served in the restaurant with a selection of appetizers such as cheese plates. For the month of September, the entire wine list is half off Tuesdays-through-Thursdays. Wine by the glass: Franciacorta Bellavista, a unique sparkling white from Italy. $16.
Pyramid: Wine list includes 14 whites and reds, plus three sparklers. "Mix-and-mingle Mondays" are half-off wines by the glass with complimentary hors d'ouevre from 5 to 7 p.m. Wine by the glass: Bouchaine chardonnay, from the Carneros district. $15.
Mercy. One of the original wine bars, having opened in February 2003, they have a mega-selection with over 125 wines by the glass. Happy hour seven days a week from 4 to 7 p.m. gives Addisonites wines as low as $5 per glass.
Swirll. Wine bar in downtown Dallas' Central Business District gets points for convenience; office workers can stop in for a glass and avoid rush hour entirely. New owners have updated decor and wine list, too, with big selection of wines made in Texas. Wine by the glass: Becker viognier. $10.