Wine, anyone? Downtown and Vine, the brainchild of an Amadorian and a Napa-ite, is the perfect blend of urban desires, with old-world sensibilities. What the heck does that mean? It means that this is a comfortable place where you can hang out for hours, or just pop in for a quick 3 oz. taste. Maybe you want to enjoy an awesome cheese plate, or a simple handful of olives. You can have a bottle of wine before joining a hobbit and a band of dwarves on an “unexpected journey” in 3D at the IMAX, or a flight in between showings during the French Film Festival at the Crest.
Located at 1200 K Street, Suite 8, the location couldn’t get more perfect. It’s close to the convention center, the aforementioned theaters, the Community Theater, the Capitol and light rail. It is also in an area that is bereft of wine bars. With Revolution Wines on the south east corner of the grid, and 58 and Holding in the heart of midtown, Downtown and Vine is on the downtown side of the grid.
What sets this apart from other wine bars is its designation as a licensed tasting room. Currently they taste from 10 wineries of Napa and Amador. Once they get their tasting room clearances from the various wineries, there will be selections from 12 wineries.
Gregg Lamar, of Amador and a Certified Sommelier, and Kate Chomko, a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef from Napa, opened the wine bar next to Blush Ultra Lounge in early December of 2012.
Thanks to the power of social media, Twitter in this case, I had heard about it via @CowtownEats and was anxious to give it a go. After a delightful dinner at Blackbird Kitchen + Bar (click here for a post on Blackbird), we were pretty full from dinner, but decided to check out the cheese plate anyway. They exclusively use artisan cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery. There are two choices: a red wine plate, or a white wine plate. This was the red wine plate, which included Mt. Tam, a triple cream, a blue from near Point Reyes, and an aged gouda. This is a generous cheese plate that would serve two hungry people well, or a small group. The accoutrements include fig bread, nuts, and natural honey.
We chose the flights from Fiddletown Cellars and Dillian.
The bar is a very comfortable place to chat with Kate, Tom, or Jenna (that night). But if you choose to sit elsewhere, there are other options. In addition to their regular seating, which includes both low and high tops, they have a large community style table that seats 12, plus a private room.
They are still working out their menu, but it seems that one thing will be a mainstay: grown-up grilled cheese.
This is a wonderful place that I very much look forward to visiting again!
Overall: At this point – 4.5/5
Food: N/A, but the cheese plate was awesome!
Downtown and Vine
1200 K Street, Suite 8
Sacramento, CA 95814