Since the first vines began to climb across Hamilton Oaks Winery in 1989, Ron and Connie Tamez worked with a dedication to craft a selection of fine wines. Having sworn off pesticides and herbicides, the two collaborated with ladybugs and red-tailed hawks that thrive by devouring crop-threatening pests.
Visitors to the Hamilton Oaks Winery are welcome to sample varietals such as chardonnay, zinfandel, and cabernet sauvignon during tastings at the historic farmhouse, which has been on the land since the 1920s. Those fields also contain an orchard and mission and malbec grapevines. The space holds up to 400 people, and it's sometimes available for weddings and other events.
Beside the Rhine River in Germany or in sun-soaked fields in Tuscany and California, vines grow heavy with ripe fruit. These jewel-toned morsels fill bottles at PRP Wine International, whose consultants then share the global terroir during special events and private tastings at home. Each staff member has a library of facts about wine production and consumption on the tip of their tongue, as well as several varieties of corkscrews hanging from their mandated utility belt. An online shop organizes varietals, such as montepulciano and gewürztraminer, by their taste profile and country of origin, and sparkling wines are searchable by price point. To deepen their client's connection to their favorite bottle, they may either be etched or emblazoned with custom labels that commemorate an event or deliver a dry thank you.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist’s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.
The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.
Since 1978, the staff of Liquorama has helped visitors navigate the impressive inventory of rare wines, beers, and spirits that line the store's many aisles. Drop in for wine tastings three times a week—Friday evenings include sips from an Enomatic wine dispenser, while Saturday afternoons host enlightening custom tastings designed for groups of 10 or more. The store also stocks a variety of accessories for crafting drinks, hosting parties, and pouring beer into its appropriate glassware.
Toro Sushi Bar invites you to join the bite-sized culinary festivities in a chic modern setting. Its menu features a wide variety of hand-made flavorful treats, from sushi to sashimi to full entrees to tapas. Enjoy the geometric perfection of a Creole Roll with crab, veggies, and seared Cajun tuna ($15) or the insistent adoration of the Loveulongtime Roll, which unites shrimp tempura, crab, avocado, masago and tobiko with a duo of eel and dynamite sauces ($15). If you've chosen to don your "Me and My Sushi and Sashimi – No Two Ways About It" custom tee-shirt, head straight into a carefully orchestrated array of blue fin tuna Maguro, octopus Tako, Hawaiian white tuna Ono, Japanese Red Snapper Carpaccio ($15), and the Kobe Beef Tataki with green onions, garlic chips and crispy red onions ($25). For even smaller eats, peruse the tapas menu for calamari, monkey balls (tempura style mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese, spicy tuna, and avocado), and edamame. You can complement your meal with specialty drinks, sake, wine, and beer.