In an interior that blends the aura of a club with that of a good friend’s living room, the staff at Shiraz Wine Experience and Art Cafe takes advantage of a location in Carmel’s art district. Minimalist geometric paintings reminiscent of Rothko’s work hang alongside classical portraiture on the walls. Beneath the swaths of color, patrons direct their own tasting experiences with self-serve Enomatic machines, which draw from dozens of bottles to dispense servings of 1–6 ounces of red or white wines. More than 30 domestic and international wines star on the wine list, from sweet rieslings to cabernet sauvignons to the deep red of a rebellious bull’s Camaro. Sharable plates, including baked brie with apricot compote and flatbreads topped with steak and Stilton blue cheese, fuel conversation.
Umbrellas stretch wide circles over a front patio, and both the downstairs and upstairs spaces encourage lounging with sprawling white couches and cushy chairs. Wide windows drench the interior in sunlight during the day, which gradually gives way to dusk and brings violet neon lights beneath the bar to life.