A couple of weeks ago, I endeavored to wax eloquent on the wine bars of my youth and my dreams. (bham. weekly/oct 13). I talked about the excess framing supplies, it has been transformed into a vibrant yet cozy respite from the madness of the day and of our world. When we walk up the with a great selection of fairly priced bottles from all regions of the world. But most impressive is the array of red and white Italian wines……..Naturalmente! So let’s look at how they have incorporated all the ingredients in the formula for a successful wine destination: Wines are available by the taste, the glass and the quartino (about 10 oz.) For example, Felsina Chianti Classico is $4 for a 3 oz. taste; $8 for a 6 oz. glass or $11 for a quartino. OR you can buy a bottle from the retail shelf and pay the retail price plus 20% markup in order to enjoy it onsite. This also means you can build your own flight (a group of 2 oz. servings that might or might not have a theme), chosen from the 42 offerings on their list.
Education. CHECK. Well chosen selections CHECK. Inviting? CHECK. Friendliness. CHECK. But there’s so much more. This is not just a place to wine, it’s also the place to dine………you can order from GIANMARCO’s menu . The culinary treats from this Italian Ristorante, which ranks with some of the city’s finest, is hard to beat, which makes for great wining and dining.
GIANMARCO WINE , a neighborhood wine bar that opened several weeks ago, there is a lot to love about this tiny cottage.
aesthetics of the room, the friendliness of the staff, the camaraderie of the regulars and the necessity of the well chosen selections. I also opined on the importance of education as an integral component. And lastly, how a sense of community was essential in bringing it all together. Well this week, I hit the streets, my theories in my back pocket, with my palate and my sense of adventure leading the way. So how fortunate was I to have a brand new shiny wine bar to light upon! And what’s great is there’s nothing “shiny” about this new place…………wabi sabi is much more appropriate a description. (“Wabi-sabi” refers to something that is underplayed and modest, the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered.) And such is the feeling you get as you approach GIANMARCO WINE, Birmingham’s most recent Neighborhood Wine Bar. Opened several weeks ago, there is a lot to love about this tiny cottage set behind GIANMARCO, one of Birmingham’s best restaurants. Previously home to tree-lined path, we come upon a quaint front porch replete with two tables and chairs begging for thirsty wayfarers. And yes, when you gaze into the windows, it has that “come hither” whisper which beckons you inside. Therein you are greeted by a bar to the left and several tables beyond, filled with happy customers. And the friendly bartenders not only greet you enthusiastically, but they keep on giving, squiring you to a comfortable spot and filling your glasses with vinuous magic.
And I have failed to mention something very essential……….GIANMARCO WINE isn’t just a Wine Bar. It’s a Wine Retail Shop too! Beautiful wooden racks surround the small space and are laden
Now let’s have a little virtual fun. From their menu online, I have chosen 2 small plates from the Cheeses and Salumi category, and one main plate, as a backdrop for our threeportion wine flight: Porchetta di Tronchetto (boneless pork roast) ; Salame Biellese (Fine ground Berkshire shoulder that is mildly spiced with Piedmontese style spices); and Sausage & Peppers (sweet Italian sausages simmered in peppers, onion, garlic and marinara served over spaghetti). From their list, I have selected three Italian red wines with the intention of bringing out the best in both wine and the food. The Ornellaia Le Volte 2007 (an affordable Tuscan blend of merlot, cabernet and sangiovese from the prestigious Ornellaia estate); the Paitin Sori Paitin Barbaresco 2006 (a full throttle Piemontese red made from 100% nebbiolo); and Damilano Barolo 2004 ( more feminine red from Piedmont made from 100% nebbiolo with red fruits and spice in the forefront). This flight of 3 wines (a total of 9 oz.) will cost you a mere $19. Pairing-wise, the complexity, structure, subtle earthy, dried-fruits spiciness of the two Piemontese wines are great foils for the spicy sausage and peppers, and the Piemontese spices of the Berkshire shoulder. The Tuscan blend should be prove a great marriage to the boneless pork roast. Sounds pretty great, huh?
Next visit, I’ll sidle up to the bar, order my virtual menu and hope to be swept up in the camaraderie of the moment.
GIANMARCO WINE: 731R Broadway Street; Homewood, AL 35209; 205-877-8802 Hours are 5pm to 10pm Monday thru Saturday (check to make sure).