Phx wine bars
Best wine bars in Phoenix/Scottsdale/entire Valley - and why?
What do you look for? What's not wonderful? And what makes it a wine bar? Is the little bar at AZ Wines a wine bar? Sportsmens?
What's the one no one really knows yet?
I'll second Kazimierz for the top honors. The selection of ports and apertifs and digestifs is just as good, the food is fantastic, and the atmosphere and music put it over the top.
For some reason, I think wine happens to taste better in the fresh air, so I'm also a fan of Postino. It moves up the rankings, for me, partly because of the whole LGO experience. Start out with a pizza with house-pulled mozzarella and then move over for a scoop of gelato and finish off the evening with a few more glasses of wine -- makes for a nice date night.
I know everyone on Chowhound thinks the west valley is home only to crackhouses and chains, but Park Wines in Litchfield Park is really nice. Unless they have music, you don't have to holler to make yourself heard, it's full of nice normal people, and they have nice nosh plates that change almost daily. Check the cheese case and the microbrew selection for new discoveries, too.
This is SOOO deeply personal (at least for me). I will break it down by category:
Best Wine Bar to Enjoy the Company of Girlfriends and be left alone by men and/or anyone else annoying like wine salespeople:
Best Wine Bar to Meet Older Men willing to Buy me Silver Oak with no strings attached because they want me to have a "great experience" (not kidding):
Az Wine Co
Best Wine Bar to Learn about Wine, feel loved and comfortable like a daughter/cousin/friend:
Village Wine Cellar
Best Wine Bar to Stare at Rude, Rich Drunk People:
Armitage (tied with Kaz bar on a weekend night after 9 p.m.)
Best Wine Bar to tempt any PD or Sheriff Office to arrest people:
Enotria, Armitage or frankly, any wine bar 30 or more miles from a city center
Best Wine Bar to have an AMAZING experience but pay way too much:
Postino - except for Monday, what the HECK is with a $9 corkage fee...really? I still go there routinely, but it has grown quite expensive, esp. as compared to Sportsmans and considering most wines are undiscovered, etc.
Best wine bar in Scottsdale where food is a real option and I can actually afford it (aka, my favorite wine bar):
All-time Best Wine Bar:
My house or any good friends house
Can't wait to hear other opinions and learn about places I forgot about or don't know about! :)
I'd like an invite to try the "Best wine bar in Scottsdale where food is a real option and I can actually afford it". Sounds fun.
BTW, single men DO in fact visit wine bars. Postino was my first good phoenix wine-bar experience, cheuvront was underwhelming, Kaz is too hectic to be comfortable -- i usually get one glass then switch to other alcohol -- so, i'm gonna have to vote for Postino as my favorite in the valley.
Anyone know about a new wine bar opening up in Copper Square? It'd be nice to have one to walk to ... erm ... stumble home from
bottlecap - give cheuvront's another try for one of their tastings. i think its sponsored by one of their suppliers. they're really good - 20 bucks, 5 or 6 wines,and if you like, you can order by the bottle or case, iwth a decent discount i might add..
in general, i can see how you wouldn't be overly impressed by cheuvronts...but for their tastings, we like 'em alot :)
I just got back from Duck & Decanter where several of our group were sharp, youthful, single fellows who liked wine but would have also liked more single females to be there. Maybe we should triangulate a future meeting?
The organizer likes the place because there's no corkage fee, you buy at retail prices, but can eat/drink on the patio, where it's pretty much a serve yourself area.
Nobody has to drink or eat. If you want food, go inside and get it. If you want wine, go inside and buy a bottle. It's simple and nice. What's even better is the economics. We got to share/sample a variety of wines and it cost about $10 per person, including tax/tip
I'm not a wine bar connoisseur by any means since I usually drink beer. Still, I've had some good experiences at 98 South in Chandler:
Also, I will say that I have been impressed with the Roosevelt Tavern's approach to wine. It's not a 750-wine list, but instead a nice chalkboard with the wines featured that day. I find that approach less intimidating than the phonebook I'm given each time I visit Kazbar (although I will say that the Kazbar staff are quite helpful with wine suggestions) While I still think the Roosevelt's food needs some enhancement, the approach to wine and beer there is a welcome one.
A bit farther afield for those down Chandler way is Down Under Wines on the outer rim of the Chandler Fashion Mall (near P.F. Changs, I think). An Aussie operation with, funny thing, mostly Austrailian wines, but they are very friendly and casual. Wine tastings on Fri. and Sat. are $15 or $20 with a free appetizer -- things like grilled roo salad, kobe beef hot dog with dipping sauces, trio of sates, etc.
Sportsman's is a solid option -- unmatched (local) inventory, knowledgeable staff, fairly comfortable, some nice nibbles available, parking compromised by Tarbell's and Tomaso's ... Terroir is a nice cozy little spot, reasonable, comfortable -- I've noticed much of their food service consists of bringing in fresh-baked pies from Cove Trattoria nearby ... I've been to a very nice tasting at Bacchus in Kierland, but I don't know if it offers a wine bar experience. The place at Scottsdale and T-Bird (name escapes me) is delightful ... Postino -- it's a bar, a meet-market, not a wine bar, it's all about the scene. Cheuvront? Nice space, imaginative wine selection, cheeses too, but one visit we ordered the "French" plate and received a smidgen of ordinary food for close to $20. Stick with the cheese plates, or, the last time I was there, a halibut filet was offered for about $18.
Cur Fine Wines on Shea Blvd and 114th street is terrific.
They do a wine tasting every Friday for $10.
I have known Karen (owner) for many years....she is extremely accomodating!
A very pretty place to hang and enjoy some wine!
The wine Bar on Scottsdale Rd and T-bird is Epicurian Wine and they are terrific as well.....
Okay, I think I have the "one no one really knows yet" ... Havana Wines on Bell just west of 7th Street. An odd little shop that opened last year but they have a little bar and tastings.
Their wine shop stock is heavy on the S. American and Spanish fronts but are very poorly presented - organized by price and then stacked in square crates. I think they are very overpriced, too - not just a markup issue but also just not a lot of $10-15 bottles. You're into $18-20 for a label you've never seen before.
I've not sat down and had a drink as there usually are two or three friends of the owner, it seems, dominating the place. Have just bought a few bottles and got out. Don't think I'll be buying much more there, though ... it's fun to see new lables but a few of them have been real stinkers and at those prices I expect better.