It's easy to feel intimidated in a wine shop with more than 250 types of wine, especially when the store's name evokes the literary stylings of a Czech existentialist fiction writer. But you're in luck at Kafka Wine Company, because the store is named after owner Joe Kafka, and almost all of the 250 wines are priced at less than $15.
Bottles line the walls of this brightly-lit store. Large, colorful banners divide the space into five sections, with wines classified as toasty, spicy, earthy, floral, herbal or fruity. Once you choose a flavor, you'll have your work cut out for you. Bottles sit vertically in the wine racks, and indecisive shoppers will appreciate the small notes adorning some of the bottles, offering tips from the experts. Because almost none of the bottles will burn a hole in your wallet, you can always resort to picking the prettiest label. If that doesn't narrow it down enough for you, though, the staff is happy to make recommendations.
Located in the heart of Boystown and sporting a "cheap and easy" attitude, Kafka is a safe place for wine novices and a favorite of thrifty wine snobs. The store classes up the six-pack, offering six bottles of wine for $60. Or pick up a case of twelve bottles for just $100. Kafka also stocks a variety of specialty wines, including sparkling varieties, ports, Sherries and dessert wines. And if you're looking to impress someone, there are a few bottles in the above-$15 category, too.
Centerstage Reviewer: Aimee Hall