The Local Vine: Best Tasting Menu

I’ve been meaning to go to The Local Vine on 2nd and Vine in Seattle since my company held a fundraiser for The Moyer Foundation there last December. I finally stopped by over the weekend to meet my very good friend Linda from Vancouver. The atmosphere and the staff were welcoming, the wine flowed and the appetizers were delicious. And the tasting menu was awesome!

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or a novice, The Local Vine’s menu is an excellent roadmap to wine tasting. The wines are divided by type: red, white and a third section for apertif, sparkling and dessert wines. The sections are further divided by descriptors. For example, reds are listed as:

  • Cheerful: unpretentious, easy to drink, aromatic
  • Earthy: soft, medium body, with region-specific flavors
  • Lush: full, yet mellow and round
  • Bombshell: oak, tannins, body, acidity, fruit – everything!
  • Spicy: full-bodied with fruit and zip

Whites are listed as:

  • Refreshing: fruity, mouthwatering, aromatic
  • Succulent: slightly sweek, steely, honeyed
  • Centered: crisp, balanced, racy acidity
  • Fragrant: aromatic, luscious, proud
  • Statuesque: traditional, crisp with good structure
  • Boisterous: exotic, beautiful, rich, full-bodied

Linda chose tastes of one “refreshing” white and two “centered” whites. I tasted two “earthy” reds: Campo Viejo Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2000 and Bersan Cab Franc 2005 from Washington state, plus one “lush” red from Bordeaux: Chateau Les Tourelles de Longueville 2001. I enjoyed all of them, but the Bordeaux wine from Pauillac stood out among the three. Of course, I loved the wines from Bordeaux when we visited Pauillac and Margeaux in 2005.

But I digress. Back to the tasting menu: in addition to dividing the wines by sections with fun descriptors, each wine listing is accompanied by icons that signal if the wine is local, organic, made by a female winemaker, a critics choice or “wine we love.”

And that’s not all that I liked about The Local Vine in Belltown:

  • The wine bar is open — serving wine and food — on Wednesdays through Sundays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. (I wish The Local Vine had been around when I worked up the street at KIRO-TV a few years ago!)
  • There’s a fireplace and WiFi.
  •  There are more than 100 wine selections that run from $5 to $485 a glass.
  • If you like the wines you taste, you can buy a bottle right then and there.
  • The selections include value wines and hard-to-find choices from both small wineries and superstars.

As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, I will definitely be going back to The Local Vine.


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About Margot

Margot has been writing about wine since 1997 at KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon; ten years later, she created this blog. Write for Wine focuses on the fine wines of Washington state, with occasional posts about other northwest wine regions (Oregon and B.C.), California, ANZ and Bordeaux. A former national journalist in Canada, Margot has been a Washington wine enthusiast since moving to Seattle in 1999. Her motto: “It’s wine o’clock somewhere.”

3 thoughts on “The Local Vine: Best Tasting Menu

  1. I have been meaning to check these folks out and your review is the encouragement I needed. Thanks Margot for the insightful write up.

  2. I love the Local Vine. It’s laid-back and sophisticated and you’re review really did it justice. Good stuff.

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