– By Darla S. Hoffmann, Certified Specialist of Wine
As owner of About Wine and a wine columnist, I frequent a lot of wine bars. I guess you could say I do this for love or money, but it’s mostly because wine gives me an eccentric supply of energy. My latest vino victims were the folks at Vintage 95, a gorgeous wine lounge located in historic Downtown Chandler that just celebrated its fifth anniversary.
The restaurant resides in the same building as the city’s first post office and 1926 landmark. Vintage 95 and its upscale, yet comfy cozy personality, adds to the vitality of Downtown Chandler. It is dressed up with chandeliers and large leather chairs, yet dressed down with a fireplace and casual patio seating for those who prefer informal dining. The brick walls and old structures leave you with a feeling of wonder of times gone by. Outside, modern day bustling streets and flourishing businesses wake up downtown Chandler with daily aspirations. Vintage 95 is in the heart of it all and is most certainly contributing to its pulse.
General Manager, Grant Rembis has been with the restaurant since its conception, 5 years this past November. He’s been a part of the inevitable changes every business must face from the day the doors open, to every day thereafter. “We tribute a lot of our success to being mindful of consumer tastes and maintaining a solid and knowledgeable team. Many staff members have been here since the beginning and we have progressed together. The owners are from Chandler and want to give back to Chandler. “We think you can feel that sense of place when you come here” said Rembis. Owners, Craig and Tricia Hills encourage their staff to take their own initiatives, keeping Vintage 95 an avant-garde restaurant.
The wine list includes that of cult new world choices like Napa Valley’s Salvestrin and Columbia Valley’s Cayuse Cabernet Sauvignons, however you will find plenty of obscure wines as well. I was happy to find one of my personal favorites, Runquist’s Petite Syrah on the menu. Additionally, the old-world choices of Europe range from unique Spanish reds to zesty Austrian whites. Pick a country on the globe and it is likely you will find it within the comfort of these walls. “We are constantly updating and adding wines from all over the world to our list. This allows people to explore culture through their glass, at a better price point” said Rembis.
The immense national and international presence of wines does not mean Vintage 95 neglects the wines of our state. You can find wonderful Arizona wines on the menu such as Sand Reckoner and Dos Cabezas. “We have done local winemaker dinners and are always open to building those relationships and doing day or evening events” said Rembis.
Furthermore, and giving us even more opportunities to channel our inner oenophile, Vintage 95 uses a Coravin System for those wanting to try higher end wines without buying the entire bottle. This is a device with a medical grade needle and capsule of Argon gas that allows one to pour a bottle of wine through the cork without spoiling the wine. These wines are hand selected by the wine director for their level of quality and exceptional taste.
For some of us, wine falls second to nothing. However, we are definitely living in a cocktail era and Vintage 95 has a program that is sure to life your spirits. From fine Japanese Whisky, Mezcal, to Amari you are not going to long for a quality libation. If beer is what you fancy, there is a hearty list with plenty of local choices to keep you hoppy.
Vintage 95 is located at 95 West Boston Street, Chandler. It’s a rousing time to visit Downtown Chandler and take part in its blooming growth. Check out their website www.vintage95.com, make dinner reservations or just pop in for a glass of wine. The new year is a perfect time to share a beautiful vintage.
If you are a wine collector interested tastings and storage in the valley, or a wine establishment interested in having your wines reviewed or would like to host a wine class or tasting call Darla Hoffmann, CSW, at 480.540.7555 http://www.aboutwineinaz.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.