Under the tutelage of French winemaker Benjamin Calais, the experts at Calais Winery craft varietals using traditional French techniques. That's why the winery proudly proclaims itself "The French Winery of Texas," making La Cuvee d'Elme aged in French oak barrels and a Zinfandel-Sangiovese blend with a thick accent. Visitors can drop in for a wine tasting, during which they're invited to sample five wines from the current list. Those with a deeper curiosity about winemaking can enroll in classes that illuminate the process from grape to bottle.
Located on Main Street of Grapevine, Texas, D'Vine Wine treats visitors to countless varieties of wine paired with savory cheese and charcuterie plates. In the tasting and dining area, honeycombed wine racks and wooden barrels line the earth-toned walls, allowing visitors to imagine they've been swept away to the rustic cottage of a Tuscan vintner or the panic room of a billionaire. Guests sip house-made sauvignon blanc, malbec, and fruit-infused wine, while customers consult with wine representatives on creating a personalized label for any occasion.
Chef René Peeters is no stranger to cultural diversity, and his menu follows suit. He spent his childhood between the Belgian Congo and southern France, later living in Laos and Greece before finding his throne in Dallas's restaurant scene. Though he's trained in the style of classical French cuisine, Chef René calls upon his well-traveled palate to diversify his cooking style, seasoning dishes with the flavors of passport-stamp inks from around the globe. For nearly two decades, Peeters has helmed the kitchen at Bistro Watel's, serving a menu with foie gras, Lone Star cassoulet, and "Moroccan-ish" chicken tagine. The restaurant's kitchen also hosts a handful of cooking classes that follow themes such as French countryside cooking, sauces, and how to impress a chef in the produce aisle.
Voted one of Guidespot's Best Dallas Wine Bars, Chateau Wine Market & Bodega Bar employs discerning palates to collect a multitudinous variety of quality libations from around the world. At each monthly tasting, Chateau opens up to 20 different wines from their vast selection, selecting bottles that retail from $20 to more than $150. Each fair takes place during a late-month Saturday afternoon from 2 p.m.–6 p.m., and the wine-curious are free to come and go as they please, fitting a tasting in between errands or saving the world from spandexed supervillians.
The culinary ideology behind MAX's Wine Dive lies in a simple slogan: "Why the hell not?" With the gourmand irreverence to unite fried chicken with champagne, chili dogs with an Australian shiraz, and grilled cheese with a French sauvignon blanc, Executive Chef Patrick Russell's menu of eclectic dishes has earned MAX's Dallas location several OpenTable Diner Choice awards, including Hot Spot and Notable Wine List.
Though the cuisine evokes the flavors of a rustic diner, the ingredients are all gourmet—chefs spangle dishes with fresh seasonal produce, piquant cheeses, and unique sauces such as chipotle aioli and housemade crème fraiche. Meanwhile, an extensive inventory of world wines pours regularly, sending selections to tables by the glass even when the menu lists a varietal as bottle-only, thanks to the restaurant's two-glass commitment policy. Friday through Sunday, brunch bravely blends chicken fried steak and waffles, and the signature MAX 'n cheese puts a twist on an original in a more critic-friendly manner than editing a high-speed chase into Casablanca. Housing a private event space, MAX's Wine Dive can accommodate large groups of nearly 60 people.