What to Look for in a Wine Bar
Enjoying a wine at a wine bar is an experience to be savoured, whether it’s a wine bar in Moonee Ponds or anywhere else. It’s certainly not the same as drinking wine at a pub, a restaurant, or even a winery. There are unique elements regarding the ambiance, the staff and the wine selection that make a good wine bar stand out.
What to Look for in the Wine Selection
A quality wine bar wants its patrons to be able to try a lot of different types of wines and varietals. Therefore, they should offer many wines by the glass—many more than a normal restaurant—at reasonable prices. Offering flights of similar wines or wines from the same family or vineyard is a big plus.
In addition, a quality wine bar will focus much less on recognisable brands and more on diversity. Look for lots of different vineyards, varietals, and families. Their menu and staff should highlight the vineyard where the wines are from as well as the region where the grapes are grown.
Besides the wines themselves, they should have a variety of glasses. Different wines are optimally enjoyed in different types of glasses, and a quality wine bar should have all of them. Of course, they will also serve you in the proper glasses as well.
What to Look for in the Staff
The most important thing about the staff in a quality wine bar is that they are knowledgeable, not only about wine in general, but also about the wines that their bar carries. They should be readily able to answer almost all of your questions about the wines.
At the same time, they need to be able to admit when they don’t know something and be willing to seek the answer for you. After all, no one knows everything. Sometimes it’s the collective knowledge of the wine bar staff that really makes a wine bar special.
They should never be intimidating or aloof; the point of visiting a wine bar is to experience wines you may not be able to get elsewhere by the glass. They should want to share their passion with you.
To successfully work in a wine bar, it does help that the staff enjoy wine themselves. It’s not quite the same to convey the experience of tasting if you don’t participate in it as well.
What to Look for in the Ambiance
Besides general upkeep and atmosphere, there are a couple of essentials to look for in an exceptional wine bar. First, the space should be free from anything that may interfere with tasting wine, especially smells. If the air in the bar is heavily perfumed, or if there are fresh flowers everywhere (as beautiful as they are), then the owners may not understand the intricacies of tasting wine.
Visiting a wine bar in Moonee Ponds or anywhere else should be an enjoyable and relaxing experience, and the ambiance should reflect that. It shouldn’t be too stuffy, but at the same time it shouldn’t look like a university bar, either.
How a business owner feels about their business will be reflected in the general upkeep and appearance. If they’re passionate about what they do and the wines they serve, then the atmosphere will reflect that passion.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with a wine bar offering beers and other cocktails as well. Especially as craft beer has exploded in popularity over the past decade, many of them carry a selection of local beers. After all, it’s good for business, and it’s convenient for you if your friends or family aren’t wine drinkers.
So there you have it, by looking at the wine selection, wine bar staff and the ambiance, you can be more equipped to select the perfect location for your next wine bar experience.