The weather’s warm, the kids are out of school for just a bit longer and summer in the city has never been hotter. Before the kids head off to school, get in one last girls’ night out. Check out these five establishments with amazing wine lists perfect for hanging with friends one final summer’s eve.
Jeff Ruby’s stunning décor and expertly crafted cuisine makes it easy to overlook the bar. The wine menu is cultivated from both familiar and new offerings sold by the glass, half bottle and bottle. There’s also a small list of sake that accompanies Jeff Ruby’s sushi menu. We tried the 2005 Silver Oak, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with a hint of black cherry, rose and roast. This is a prestigious bottle for the discerning wine drinker, whether it be with a hand-cut ribeye or with the girls for a quick bite.
325 West Main St. Louisville, KY 40202 | (502) 584-0102 | www.jeffruby.com/louisville
A more recent entry into NuLu’s bustling food and drink scene, Nouvelle’s wine bar is clean, elegant and inviting. We love the Bouvet Rosé Excellence Brut. The dry sparkling wine, which hails from Loire, France, has a slight hint of raspberry with a cassis fragrance. Like most bruts, it is best served chilled and is the perfect choice for warm summer nights. The wine bar also menus light bites that pair well with their bar offerings. Wine not your cuppa? There’s a full bar also available, with plenty of signature cocktails from which to choose.
214 South Clay Street | (502) 631-9428 | www.nouvellewine.com
Ah, Bourbon’s Bistro. With more than 100 eclectic bourbons and whiskeys on its drink menu, it’s easy to get lost in what Whisky Magazine named a top whiskey bar in America. But don’t overlook the affable wine list. Here, Happy Hour extends from 4:300 p.m. to 7 p.m. And once you get started, there’s no reason to barhop –– Bourbons menu is more than ample to fill an evening. We sampled Chaos Theory, another blend, this time comprised of 50 percent Merlot, 25 percent Petite Sirah and 25 percent Zinfandel.
2255 Frankfort Ave. Louisville, KY 40206 | (502) 894-8838
LouVino fit in so well with Louisville’s locals that it quickly expanded in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The restaurant garnered as much attention for its seasonal small plates –– decidedly influenced by Southern cuisine –– as it did for its extensive and ever-changing wine menu. We checked out a glass of the heady Chaos Theory, a medium-bodied California red blend of merlot, zinfandel and petite Sirah. Fun fact: each vintage differs according to the winemaker and grape availability. Happy Hour at the Highlands location happens Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and offers $2 off all glasses of wines and discounts on other beverage offerings as well.
1606 Bardstown Rd. Louisville, KY 40205 | (502) 365-1921
11400 Main Street (Douglass Hills) Louisville, KY 40243 | (502) 742-1456 | louvino.com
Eddie Merlot’s can be known more for its prime cuts of beef than the bar many diners breeze past, but with wine in the title you better believe their sommelier knows what’s up. The extensive wine list covers California to New Zealand and everywhere in between. There are some perennial favorites, but also some eclectic offerings for the more adventurous drinker. The dry Pure Mirabeau, produced from grapes in Côtes de Provence, is a surprising addition to a bar best known for its heavy red wines. The varietal scored an 88 from Wine Enthusiast and is refreshing against a large menu of merlots and Cabernets. Better yet? Eddie Merlot’s offers half-priced bottled wines every Sunday and Monday through September.
455 South Fourth St. Ste 102 Louisville, Kentucky 40202 | (502) 584-3266 | www.eddiemerlots.com/locations/louisville