Wine Bar

569. Motor City Wine – July 23, 2022 – Detroit, MI

Motor City Wine is many things: a wine shop, a wine bar, a host of live music . . . and the site of one of the most gorgeous patios in Detroit!

Motor City Wine’s offerings have obviously been thoughtfully curated. There are more than just the usual varieties from the usually-featured winemaking regions. Stroll through its Instagram account (motorcitywine) to see wines from all over the world: the Czech Republic, South Africa, the country of Georgia. Buy a bottle from the shop and drink it in the bar by paying a $10 corkage fee. Or purchase a glass featured on the bar’s menu. Wine not your thing? Motor City Wine also serves beer.

Live music is another regular offering at Motor City Wine. Its website’s September calendar shows DJs and musicians playing sets Thursdays through Sundays. Restaurant pop-ups are also a regular occurrence.

And that patio! It’s a pretty, greenery-infused retreat – the perfect place to savor a glass of Motor City Wine’s wares.

1949 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, MI 48216

www.motorcitywine.com

252. Vertical Detroit – June 8, 2017 – Detroit, MI

20170608_191848 (2)20170608_203101 (3)After glorious food and drink at Wright & Co. on a beautiful summer’s night in the D last month, my friend and I decided to continue the evening on Vertical Detroit’s patio. I was excited to visit the wine bar, because it was yet another place that had been on my radar for a long time, and because I HEART wine.

What I didn’t realize was how sophisticated the prices would be. Vertical’s wine menu is not playing around! There are numerous glasses of wine in the $20-$45 price range. I’m used to wine costing that much in restaurants – by the bottle, not the glass.

What I’m trying to say is that many of Vertical’s offerings were too out-of-our-price-range-at-this-juncture for my friend and I to consider. But there were also a number of by-the-glass choices costing in the teens and even a few for $9 (now we’re talking!). I decided on a glass of one of the most affordable ($11) reds, the 2014 Brunelli “Apricale” Sangiovese Blend from Tuscany, and enjoyed sipping it while catching up with a good friend and soaking in the tranquil early-evening city vibes.

I love wine, but I am by no means an expert in wine – even after participating in several extensive wine tastings and trainings during my years working as a server. My mind simply doesn’t retain info on grape varietals, vineyard terroirs, and the like, and no matter how hard I try, I’ll likely never be able to pick out those flavor notes of tobacco and leather. I am sure if I could that I’d be better able to appreciate Vertical’s extensive menu of dearly-priced finds. I am sure those wines have been chosen with care and are the best-of-the-best.

I do wonder if my tastes will ever get so rich as to entice me to pay $45 for a glass of wine. Probably not, even if my wallet gets rich. I would rather put that money toward the food-aspect of the meal and drink a second-rate glass of vino. My palate doesn’t seem to care about grape pedigree, even as it (very much!) respects the craft of wine-making.

Ambiance, on the other hand . . . ambiance is definitely important to me. I dug Vertical’s interior, which was elegantly dark and cozy with its richly tiled walls and chandeliers.

Besides offering an extensive wine list, Vertical Detroit offers craft cocktails and a selection of (mostly local) draft beers. It also boasts a food menu offering a sophisticated array of appetizers, small plates, and desserts such as lamb heart tartare, pork osso bucco, and crème brûlèe.

1538 Centre St.

Detroit, MI 48226

www.verticaldetroit.com

93. Cork Wine Pub – December 29, 2014 – Pleasant Ridge, MI

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Happy hour runs all night at Cork Wine Pub on Mondays, so how could I not go this evening? It’s a cozy space to enjoy some excellent (and affordable) happy-hour small plates and a bottle of one of the over 100 wines served. An exquisite-looking dinner and weekend brunch menu are offered, as well.

23810 Woodward Ave.
Pleasant Ridge, MI 48069

www.corkwinepub.org