Like Mike Tyson, wine is usually robust, is often boxed, and should never influence tattooing decisions. Imbibe the spirit of a champion with today's Groupon to Thief Wine. Choose from the following options:
- For $15, you get $30 at the wine bar, including flights, bar-menu items, and daily wines.
- For $100, you get an 8-person private wine tasting (a $180 value).
Named one of the top five beer and wine shops in Milwaukee by CityVoter and best wine bar in 2011 by Milwaukee magazine, Thief Wine doubles as a boutique wine shop and wine bar, with an ever-changing menu of more than 30 by-the-glass wines. At the Shorewood location, customers can try out the bar's Cruvinet preservation system, which keeps wines fresh for two weeks and serves them at the ideal temperature. Give gravity a pop quiz by tipping a glass of the Planeta 2009 la segreta bianco, a white blend of grecanico, chardonnay, viognier, and fiano ($3.50/taste; $7.25/glass; $17/carafe). Another by-the-glass wine, the Chateau Morillon 2008 st. emilion, blends merlot and cabernet into a wine that is, like a skyscraper wearing a smoking jacket, smooth but structured ($5/taste; $10.50/glass; $24/carafe). Patrons enjoy the diversity of flights such as A Trio of Rosés, featuring a taste each of three distinctive rosé wines: the luscious Mas De Gournier, the delicately balanced AIX, and the crisply acidic Mastroberardino ($10.50). Light food options, such as a plate of artisanal cheeses ($9.50) or the even lighter plate of artisanal helium, round out the bar menu.
Private, eight-person wine tastings provide a flavorful experience for every player on a baseball team except the shortstop. Thief Wine experts assist tasters in choosing wines around a theme, and guests receive wine notes and handouts for tastings.
The bottles that make up Thief Wine's diverse inventory are not stolen, but they may as well be. The shop's name—a reference to the long tube or "barrel thief" used to sample maturing wines waiting to be bottled—reflects the air of mischief shoppers experience in encounters with otherwise inaccessible wines that makes each of the shop's selections feel like the product of a thrilling cellar heist. The fruits of Thief's careful wine curation decorate the walls of Thief Wine's two locations with more than 500 selections, which mix familiar labels with artisanal up-and-comers from around the globe. At each location's wine bar, certified sommeliers pare down the hulking inventory to about 30 essential bottles, which slosh into thematic tasting flights or full glasses to flank small plates of cheese and charcuterie.