Wine 101: The Happy Hour
Vines NEW Wine List and Happy Hour
Most wine 101ers have experienced a Happy Hour where cocktails and wine are offered at a discounted price during a specific time, like 4-6 p.m. when a bar is not normally crowded. Sometimes inexpensive bar food is offered for free (think tortilla chips under a heat lamp and salsa) or under-sized menu offerings at a lower price.
It’s a great way to save some moola. It’s a great way to meet up with like-minded pals. It’s a great way to see which establishments offer more than others. And it’s the best way to get to know a restaurant or bar without making an evening’s commitment.
I’ve been to several. I’ve also got a list of local ones for pals that don’t want to do the research: http://evewine101.com/2014/02/21/scv-happy-hour-list/
One example that I’ll share today is the new Happy Hour at Vines restaurant and Bar in the Valencia Hyatt Regency – because I dig it. They didn’t just rotate in new menu items (here’s my article of their last menu: http://evewine101.com/2014/02/25/eve-wine-101-scoop-new-menu-vines-restaurant-bar-effective-march-15) they also decided to unveil a new wine list (see below) at the same time. Once again, they are successful as they thought out-of-the box in making both changes at the same time.
The other thing I really dig about Vines Happy Hour, besides the prices and selection (see photo of some new yummies) is that I don’t have to stand in a line for food, at Vines it’s ordered and delivered via table service. And that kind of service is usually reserved for dining, not Happy Hour.
So again, the definition of Happy Hour can be anything; I just prefer it to be like this.
The Hearty New Bites
(Every “bite” that I’ve tried has been enough for dinner, but I do like ordering more than one to share with my husband or friends.)
Very savory Angus Beef Sliders come with a nice side of Parmesan fries.
Juicy glazed Chicken wings in a ginger sauce is served up with a spicy Asian slaw.
Every last Calamari with their sundried tomato aioli.
Refreshing Bruschetta with tomatoes, garlic, cheese and a balsamic topping.
The Turkey Avocado Cheese Crisp – it’s a grilled sandwich served with a mini salad that I haven’t tried, must go back!
Chicken Chipotle Potato Taco actually has mashed potato between the two corn tortillas to add an interesting flavor to the chicken, cheese, cabbage…oh my.
Grilled fish Sea Bass tacos have the same mashed potato surprise between the layers.
The Wine List
According to General Manager Barry Prescott, “Every wine has changed, more choices, more wine by the glass.”
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com