In spite of its name, Cellar 56 features more than 56 wines from grape-growing regions throughout the world. The emphasis is on accessibility, though; the bar helpfully sells a number of wines by the half glass, allowing guests to sample a variety of wines for a fraction of the price of a bottle. To make the selection even more accessible, reds and whites are divided into small groups by style. That means that tracking down anything from a crisp, grapefruit-tinged New Zealand sauvignon blanc to a spicy Italian primitivo is as simple as scanning the list. The seasonal food menu of tapas-style small plates demonstrates a similarly eclectic approach. Old-World flavors meet New World comfort in dishes such as the truffle-scented wild-mushroom finger sandwiches on toasted french baguettes. Guinness-braised short rib with whipped potatoes evokes memories of a home-cooked stew and the pan-seared salmon demonstrates a bit more refinement with its coriander-caper glaze. Cellar 56's main seating area seems more like a den than a dining room. Bottles fill the three racks that adorn one wall, presenting diners with a neatly arranged display of wines that stretches from the top of the booths to the ceiling. Dark wooden accents, earthen tiles, and warm lighting contribute to the inviting atmosphere at what CBS Atlanta called one of the Best Wine Bars in Atlanta in 2011.
Try as they might, home brewers cannot transform barley and hops into bubbly craft brews with the flick of a switch or a hearty whistle. For tools, equipment, and advice, brewers congregate at the Savannah Home Brew Shop, where they can sniff and sample specialty grains, yeast, and malts from Crosby & Baker. Students stock up on shiny new brewing equipment from Foxx while scouring available brewing books and magazines for the up-to-date trends and tips. The staff at Savannah Home Brew Shop can guide novices through their first fermented steps with home-brewing kits, as well as starter kits and supplies for wine makers. Seasoned brewers load up on brand-name liquid or dry yeasts, and hoist bulk bags of dry grain on their shoulders as they try to outrun the sprightly Saint Paulie girl that just stole their stein.
Boutier Winery's vinifera and French-American grape vines stretch across 32 rolling acres in Georgia's Piedmont region, awaiting artisanal transformation into award-winning varietals. Wine tastings draw visitors into the vineyards for fragrant sips paired with the rich notes of chocolates and gourmet cheeses. Vintner Victor Boutier's prizewinning wines include Geordeaux, a blended bordeaux that won a bronze medal in the 2011 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Other specialties range from corcordance gold medal winning Diva 'Licious, a scrumptious peach brew, to a chardonnay crafted entirely from Georgia-grown grapes.
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.
WineStyles' sommeliers work hard to find the most worthwhile wines on earth. After scouring vineyards to root out hard-to-find bottles, they arrange them on easy-to-navigate shelves grouped by flavor characteristics rather than varietal. Their “crisp” section favors tart, acidic flavor profiles often found in apple orchards, while their “mellow” section abounds with smooth, velvety wines ideal for pairing with pork, lamb, or an entire gallon of ice cream. The shop also stocks craft beer from brewers such as Bell's and Great Divide, looseleaf Rishi teas, and chocolate truffles infused with sea-salt-caramel or champagne.
"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.