Assisted by a rotating roster of guest winemakers, sommeliers, distillers, and brewers, Westport Whiskey & Wine's expert staff lead guest groups in spirited tasting events ($5–$35) throughout the week. Discover new old vintages during Thursday Open Bottle Nights, during which staffers introduce groups to up to five new tastes from eight of their favorite grape-based pours, along with separate spirit samplings. At First Friday beer tastings, hops pioneers from notable breweries such as Goose Island and Schlafly coerce palates to search suds for delicate flavors and coded messages hidden in the foam. Other tastings train the spotlight on brand-name libations such as tequilas and whiskeys, and cocktail classes led by mixologist Joy Perrine equip pupils with creative drink mixing know-how. Customers may use their tasting gift cards toward educating multiple companions, helping friends brush up on brew knowledge or capture hard-partying genies in bottles of merlot. Since some tastings have a guest limit, hopeful taste buds should reserve their spots in advance.
Beer Engine Microbrewery & Tap's resident beer buffs conjure signature batches of oat sodas that are brewed in-house. Sip on a quartet of samples from Beer Engine's five microbrews, which range from Freedom Ranger pale and King George's nut brown ale to Kirkner's amber––a quintessentially American brew made purely from waves of grain. Souvenir pint glasses hold aloft foamy fermentations such as virtue porter or czechvar, and half-gallon growlers allow sippers to tote their two favorite potables home and may be returned and refilled later for a fee of $11.
Intoxicated Chocolates founders Jeffery Rogers and Candace Mills created their business concept over evening drinks. The duo regularly attended social functions around town, and Candace, a dessert connoisseur, would pair their libations with a sweet dish that truly complimented the flavor. Before long, the two merged the two ideas, and began creating chocolates infused with a bevy of adult beverages. Their chocolatey creations bear such flavors as bourbon, scotch, amaretto, brandy, cognac, and a variety of beers. Chocolates come in small 6-count sizes, ideal for sharing during cozy weekday nights at home, and 24-count sizes, perfect for party hosts who forgot they don't own drink glasses.
This diverse home-goods store keeps pantries stocked with a large cache of Cellar Door chocolates ($1.20/truffle or $4 for a quarter-pound of bulk chocolate), coffee ($12), and cheeses ($4–$7). The store also vends furniture and home wares, such as chairs ($50–$150), candles ($10–$24), and assorted tchotchkes ($5–$20).
Nestled into a historic late-19th-century building, River Bend Winery offers an eclectic mix of American fare augmented by wines forged on-site at the downtown location. Hail hungry mouths with the chef's selection of artisan cheese and fruit on the sweet-tasting tray ($11), or nibble the Maryland-style crab cakes ($9). Main attractions on the dinner menu include the slow-roasted pork osso buco in a red-wine-tomato sauce ($19).
Situated amidst 80 acres of rolling countryside, Chateau de Pique Winery hosts wine tastings inside a fully restored, 19th-century horse barn. Glasses swirl handcrafted wines such as a bold Syrah, a rich, buttery Chardonel, Sweet Mile High, and their award winning First Class Blackberry wine. In warmer months, a 6,500-square-foot tent accommodates up to 350 guests during special events, and two satellite tasting rooms provide sips in Indianapolis and Clarksville year-round.