Newly Uncorked: Cellar Wine Bar

October 21 2010, 11:30 AM

Over the last year, I’ve noticed a trend toward wine-focused happy hours at places such as Caveau Wine Bar, Sketch, Encore on Colfax, Lala’s Wine Bar + Pizzeria, the Wine Loft, and Tastes Wine Bar & Bistro. The newest spot to uncork is Cellar Wine Bar in Lower Highland, and its “social hour” (as they call it) ranks up there with the best.

From 5 to 7 p.m. nightly (but closed on Sundays), Cellar offers $5 or $10 pours from a selection of wines from France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and California. While the savings aren’t huge, other features make up for it.

First, there’s the modern space, with a wall of windows overlooking 15th Street. Second, there’s the hip, wine-savvy crowd. (The night I went, a Meetup group of wine lovers had taken over the place.) But the real draw—in addition to the wine—is the tasteful list of cheeses from the Truffle Cheese Shop, cured meats, and chocolates.

Order a small plate of the creamy La Tur, mild Grafton cheddar, and rich Bleu d'Auvergne, add in some savory fennel-cured pork salami, and finish it off with a plate of bittersweet chocolate-covered strawberries. (Bread, green and black olives, Marcona almonds, and fresh berries come with the order.) When put together, the tastes and textures will satisfy as if you’d eaten a regular meal.

FYI: While the offerings change weekly, the menu is getting an overhaul on November 1 to include tapas and other warm plates.

2556 15th St., 303-455-9463