A place to learn about wine and food.
Or just enjoy it.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Whether you consider yourself to be a wine novice or connoisseur, Vino Venue can quench your thirst for more of the fruits of Bacchus.
Whether you want to sit down and sip from a glass with pinkie elegantly extended or run in circles pouring your own samples, this is the place for you.
OK, yes, so maybe it would be better if you behaved like a grownup and didn’t literally run in circles. But you technically could if so inclined since the enomatic self-serve wine kiosk in the middle of the tasting area is round.
Just stick your prepaid vending card into the machine, press a button—there are three pour volume options—hold your glass under the nozzle and voila! The good stuff flows. Drink and repeat as desired.
If you want some human interaction and wine education along with your glass of wine, you might solicit one of the wine-savvy staff members for recommendations. Sip single selections, flights or random picks: the choice is yours. Each night nearly 50 wines are available by the glass.
You can also formalize your wine education, if so inclined. With more than 200 wine events held annually, the Atlanta Wine School offers a range of wine courses from novice to advanced levels, for consumers or industry pros, and for pure fun up to more serious industry-level qualifications.
Introduced in 2003, the Atlanta Wine School has primarily been a place (as the name suggests) for wine education via its menu of classes and seminars plus wine-inspired travel. Vino Venue is the school’s new home—and expansion beyond the classroom.
“We are combining a wine bar, a wine store, a tapas restaurant, and a culinary events facility into one. Vino Venue is the next step in our goal of creating a complete gastronomic experience for our clientele,” said Michael Bryan, owner of Vino Venue and founder of the Atlanta Wine School.
Sampling offers the chance to learn without the formality of a class. Conveniently, if you find something you like wine is also sold by the bottle, so you can buy whatever you most enjoyed. Or a case of everything. (Wine accessories and accompaniments are also for sale.)
If you want some food along with your wine, take your pick from the menu of tapas-style dishes and flatbreads. Offerings include smoked salmon crostini with crispy capers, red onion and lemon aioli, cognac and pistachio pâté with course ground mustard and raspberry preserve, spicy andouille and sweet fig skewers and heirloom beet and goat cheese salad with candied pecans and orange citronette. Don’t miss the mushroom flatbread.
As culinary director, Chef Jessica Ray has developed a range of classes and events, such as her Date Night Cooking series with subjects like “Fruitti Di Mare” and “A Marriage of Food and Wine – Italian Style” to practical courses like “Cook Once, Eat Healthy Meals All Week.”
Who says school food never tastes good?
-Photos Courtesy Joe Miceli Photography