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Have you ever stood in a local wine store, looking at the two hundred dollars bottle of wine and think to yourself: should I get this? But I don’t know how it’ll taste like. Well, never mind as you put down the bottle and ended up buying a 20 bucks Cabernet Sauvignon? This happens to me all the time.
The truth is a lot of us are afraid to spend big on something we have such little clue about. Plus, it doesn’t mean we’ll like it just because its pricey value. True, there are plenty of wine bars out there, the ones where you point at the menu and order.
Both self-service wine bars and regular wine bars offer diverse selection, but the self-service one feels to me like a wine lover’s playground – a place where we’re able to explore the wines that interested us at our own pace, portion, and most importantly without having to wait for a bartender or a waiter.
During college, my wine professor showed us a clip of Clo Wine Bar in New York City (closed its doors back in December of last year). Being a self-service wine bar, Clo at the time was a new and genius business concept featuring an interactive menu system where you use your finger tip to guide the cursor and all the info you need pops up.
Located in Brickell, a business district of Miami, Cava – as it was named, is a cool, contemporary wine bar equipped with wine dispenser in which all you do is put a card in the slot, press quantity button (here, they offer three portion sizes: tasting portion, half glass, or full glass), and voila – there goes your desired glass of wine.
The bar was very well organized. More than half of the space were taken by red wines, with the more expensive ones grouped together in the center of the restaurant. Then, there are white wines and champagnes locked in a clear, cooling box. A tasting note accompanies each bottle, providing guests with the wine’s flavor profile, where it comes from, the nose, and the finish.
My tip is to go for something you wouldn’t normally buy – either a bottle that’s really expensive, or the grapes you usually don’t drink. For example, I’m not at all a fan of any red wines, mainly because the taste of tannin, a bitter flavor coming from a grape’s skin, seeds, and stems. But expensive red wines are completely different.
Yes, the tannin is still there, but much smoother and more pleasant. One of the most expensive wines there – Leonetti Merlot 2008 from Columbia Valley, Washington, was aromatic, light, and has the taste of spices and berries.
All in all, this technology allows us to enjoy experimenting with wine at our own limit. Think about it, most of us don’t buy clothes without trying them on – same thing with wine and everything else. This type of wine bar, specifically, is a great way to find that perfect bottle for a special occasion and expand your knowledge.
After all, who wants to bring a bad bottle of wine to Thanksgiving or Christmas? As for me, I’m always looking for a nice wine where my family and friends can enjoy when we throw a get-together.
With that being said, I’m off to getting my sweet white wine – Chateau de Stony, Muscat de Frontignan.