Recognizing that drinking fine wine should be a full-body, social experience, The Gourmet Grape hosts a free wine tasting every Saturday afternoon from 2-6 p.m. Put on a sharp-looking outfit and acquaint yourself with new grapes and like-minded wine lovers who are there to sip, swirl, sniff and schmooze, along with the background tunes of the shop's player piano. If you're looking for a formal lesson and a heartier wine flight (more like eight or nine tastes as opposed to the Saturdays two to four), consider forking over $25 for one of the monthly two-hour courses.
Inside the shop, you'll find wines arranged by region lining the perimeter of the hardwood floors, along with a minimal selection of accessories like wine glass name tags, chardonnay balsamic vinegars, ornate martini glasses and decanters. The Gourmet Grape specializes in small distribution wines; some of the owners' favorites include an Australian Shiraz from St. Andrews, Caymus' Conundrum and Cabernet and Bogle's blend wine known as "Phantom." True to boutique-style business, the shop also takes special orders and provides custom-made gift baskets.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jessica Herman