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.
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.
"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.
At the end of a winding, rust-colored dirt road, Still Pond Vineyard and Winery's tasting room overflows onto a sunny patio where benches make a perfect spot to sit, sip, and relax. Onsite, 11 different muscadine wines are crafted, including a full-bodied blackberry wine, a smooth white wine, and a golden dessert wine.