Monday, March 19, 2007

Early returns on Aqua wine bar: 'Barely ... legitimate', 'clueless' help, 'might disappoint serious wine connoisseurs'

Alder Yarrow is a respected local wine blogger and thus particularly well-equipped to review the new wine bar from Aqua Development, Rouge et Blanc.

Which is precisely what he did a few days ago. Some key tasting notes:
  • "the list ... now includes about fifteen wines from all over the world, some that are unfortunately still pedestrian"
  • "disappointingly, the bar does not offer half-pours, however the staff tell me that it is their policy to offer a free taste pour of every wine on the list to anyone who asks, which allows Rouge et Blanc to barely hang onto its status as a legitimate wine bar according to my criteria."
  • "a modest list of wines available by the bottle ... will satisfy most ordinary interests at several price ranges, but ... might disappoint serious wine connoisseurs looking for special or off-the-beaten-track wines"
  • "I hope they'll eventually get rid of the few glaringly mass-market wines"
  • "both of the folks I spoke with were pretty much clueless about the wines on the list. One even told me he had been asked the same question about what varietals were in the white blend I was drinking several times over the past couple of months, but apparently that hadn't provided enough impetus for him to actually find out the answer, and all I was left with was a shrug."
By the way, this review earns Rouge et Blanc 2.5 stars on Yarrow's scale, which is insane. Until you consider that half of the scale is given over to fire code compliance -- operative doors, working extinguishers, that kind of thing -- and most of the rest is based on how many kinds of credit cards they accept. Who knew?!

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