Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Wine Shop at Rivergate

We had such a great experience at The Wine Shop at Rivergate today. I'm so excited to blog about it! First of all, this wine shop is right in my hood - a few miles from South Tryon and 485 in the Rivergate shopping center. We had been there once before, but I think we had a fluke bad experience with the wasn't horrible, but it wasn't enough to draw us back in. We stopped in today for late lunch, and I seriously enjoyed myself!

First of all, my husband was happy because they have over 200 bottled beers. The bartender led us over to the cooler, where we could peruse the racks of beer. This was definitely more exiting then looking at a beer list. Shawn settled on a Sam Smith and we bellied up at the bar. This is a win-win - as I have mentioned my hubby is not a huge wine guy, but he'll drink some with me occasionally. But give me a place with a phenomenal beer and wine list? Score!

The menu is gorgeous. All kinds of cheeses, meats, small plates, pizzas, paninis, gourmet burgers...they even have a beautiful brunch menu, which we plan to take full advantage of next weekend. I ordered the atlantic salmon, with grits and julienne veggies, and Shawn ordered a chicken wrap, which included green apples and a delicious dressing. Both were really great. My salmon was on the small plates menu, and was only $8.50 - but was nearly the size of a full entree!

The wine list is really fun, because you can order a taste, flight, or glass of any selection. I started with a flight on my first glass ($3) and I realized I could downsize to the taste ($1.50) and try a lot more wines. Yes. Complicated math here.

Here are the wines I sampled:

Ranga Ranga Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: This was good - it turned out to be my least fave, but each of the following wines I tried were excellent. It was grassy and herbaceous, as I understand New Zealand SB's usually are, but the fruit flavor (pineapple) was stronger than I expected. Still good though!

Independent Producer Chardonnay: The description told me that the wine touched no wood and had no malolactic fermentation, so I was excited to tasted a crispy, acidic chardonnay - which this was. It tasted delicious with with my salmon and grits as well.

Domaine Serene Yamhill Pinot Noir: AMAZING. I adored this - it was light like a pinot, but had such rich flavors, and a lot of body. It had such a warm and spicy and fruity flavor. The glass was $16, and I got to try a taste for $2. Which is why I love this place.

Michael David Petite Petit: This was recommended by our server, and it is a Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot blend. I thought it was pretty typical of a Syrah - dark and rich, and tooth-coating. It was intense and tasty, with lots of dark berry flavors.

Hill Family Estate Barrel Blend: This was a berry bomb. One sniff and I might as well have put my nose in a case of blackberries and cherries. All I could think was "jammy" - which was actually kind of nice. The wine was a little more was very fruity and oaky and slightly dry. Overall, I loved it.

What a great experience. I love this wine shop. I just love being able to taste lots of things without paying for a full glass. I'm thinking about going to the Girard tasting there on Thursday, Oct 1. Come join me!

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