Wine glasses sit lined in rows, sparkling clean and ready to be filled. Bottles of all shapes and sizes---tall, portly, slender, dark, light---abound throughout the room. Tables, placed almost haphazardly throughout the space, are filled with people, mostly thirtysomethings in business suits unwinding after a day in the office.
This is the scene I stepped into at Caveau Wine Bar
at 6 o'clock on a recent evening. Located in a popular part of Uptown (Steuben's, Tavern Uptown, and WaterCourse Foods are all within blocks), the place was bustling. But the waitress was prepared and kindly asked a man at the bar to scoot over so my friend and I could have a seat.
After giving us a few minutes to look over the food and drink menus, a bartender stopped by to ask us if anything looked good. Problem was, everything did. With around 100 wines on the menu, narrowing down options was difficult. But I was in the mood for a red, and since I was hopping on a flight to Madrid in a few days, I settled on a Spanish Tempranillo.
Because wine is made for pairing, we decided to order bruschetta from the small-plates offerings, opting for the traditional version (there are four types of bruschetta on the menu): crispy baguette topped with fresh basil, roma tomatoes, garlic, pecorino, and aged balsamic vinegar. The tiny bites matched up well with the slightly spicy vino.
With its seating, ambiance, and shared plates, Caveau brings to life the idea that wine is meant to be shared. I'll certainly be back to Caveau---at the very least to compare the Tempranillos I'll be drinking in Spain.
Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
Late-night happy hour runs from 10 to 11 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
Specials include $5 for glasses of wine originally $12 and under; half-off glasses of wine originally $13 or more; $2 sessions; and $3 drafts.
450 E. 17th. Ave., 303-861-3747