Once you’ve bellied up to the cozy tasting room’s bar like an urbane, sophisticated cowboy, you’ll be treated to a few flavorful wafts and quaffs of Montaluce's finest 2008 and 2009 red and white wines, fermented from the carefully maintained fruits of its 35-acre vineyard. The 2008 chardonnay massages the nose with aromas of green apples, pear, and lemon zest mixed with smoke, walnut, and honeysuckle. And the 2008 risata (Italian for laughter) will put your palate into hysterics with notes of cherries, raspberries, cranberry, savory herbs, and just the faintest hint of Joker venom. Otherwise, go snorkeling for the dark chocolate notes buried in the oaky, deep violet, kraken-filled deeps of the cabernet sauvignon. Much like wine itself, your experience at Montaluce will be different depending on the exact point in time you partake of it. Gracious guests who arrive for their wine flight Tuesday through Saturday will be treated to a complimentary guided winery tour at 2 p.m. Likewise, Sunday sippers can tune their taste buds to live musical performances on the veranda from noon to 5 p.m.
Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.
By virtue of its name, Wine & Beer conveys to customers exactly what it sells; but that name doesn?t tell the whole story. Inside, the shop stocks its shelves with red, white, and sparkling wines from small winery's around the globe, as well as more than 100 different kinds of beer. Rather than creating a stack of flash cards during their initial visit, customers can become more familiar with the shop?s inventory simply by attending one of its staff-led tastings. They can also join the Wine & Beer club for exclusive chances to try new arrivals.
A rotating selection of brews fill the 30 taps on Blind Murphy Craft Beer Market's growler wall. Bartenders offer three complimentary 1-ounce pours to patrons per day in order to help them narrow down their selection. Once customers have made their pick, they have it loaded into 32- or 64-ounce reusable growlers to bring home. Blind Murphy's brews are also stored in kegs, pints of beer-spiked ice cream, and hundreds of bottles, which can be mixed into customized six packs.
You don't have to travel to Spain or France to taste renowned wines?you simply have to show up at Talk of The Table. This wine-and-cheese boutique corrals more than 275 wines from various regions of the globe and displays them proudly on wooden shelves, in wine racks, and in the livers of wine racks. Twice a week, visitors can belly up to tastings inside the tasting room, savoring Sauvignon Blancs from around the world, Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley, and dry Rieslings from the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. The boutique pairs these wines with samples of 25 artisan cheeses including aged goat cheese and aged Parmesan.
"We take the pretentiousness out of the wine experience," promise Gerry Whitson and Marisa Harrer. And the owners of Unparalleled Taste mean it. Instead of upselling overhyped brands, their mission is to simply introduce patrons to good wines.
They do this through intimate wine tastings at in-home private parties, where they pass around wine samples and educate sippers about what they are tasting. Whitson and Harrer also lend their expertise to brides and grooms, helping them select libations for the big day.