What’s Good Here? Wine Down on Main

05/16/2012 12:00 AM

05/16/2012 12:23 AM

What’s good here?

Wine by the glass or bottle. Owner Patti Butler regularly attends wine shows and tastings to find a wide variety – at least 20 selections – of wines from Italy, France, Oregon, California, South America and Australia. Servers are knowledgeable about the nuances of each variety. Besides typical white and red wines, as well as some blends, there are a few dessert wines: a Chanelli-Italian sparking wine with Italian peaches and a Chocolais white French wine with Holland cream and Swiss chocolate. Champagnes are the real deal – from the Champagne region of France. Also on the menu are a few beers: India pale ale, lager, and Guinness. Each month or so, new wines are offered depending on what Butler discovers in her travels and research.

What else?

With a glass of wine, customers are treated to a basket of French bread. There is also a bar area featuring a complimentary smattering of crackers, cheeses, nuts, fruit, marinated vegetables, and chocolates. Free Wi-fi is offered for those interested in working or checking emails while enjoying a drink.

How did Wine Down get established?

Butler long had a vision for such an establishment: “I wanted a placed that would celebrate the ‘event’ of wine. Wine has the ability to bring people together and fosters the ‘art of conversation.’ I also wanted a place where people can come and sit alone or socialize with others or romance can blossom. I think this is exactly what Main Street has needed.”

Who eats here?

Because Wine Down is located from the Columbia Museum of Art, it attracts art lovers and artists alike. Business people, dancers from the nearby ballet studio, book clubbers, couples, and friends have tagged Wine Down as a meeting place. Also, those on the waiting list for Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse next door will often enjoy a glass of wine before their dinner. Wine Down has also become a regular spot for those who live downtown. During downtown events, such as New Year’s Eve, Wine Down’s entire inventory is often depleted. Wine Down will accommodate private parties, especially upstairs – where there is a room that can be closed off by a door. Overall, Wine Down can hold around 40 guests.

What does the place look like?

Butler took a two-story space that had been vacant for a few years, painted the walls a deep cranberry and gold, added some other distinct fixtures and touches – including an open, spiral staircase to the second floor – and opened for business. Soothing, soft jazz greets customers. The ambiance is classic modern. On the walls are paintings or photography for sale by local artists. The selection changes every month or so.

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