Paul Powers, manager of the Vino Lounge in Webster, calls himself a "wine snob," but snob really isn't the right word. Powers — and Vino owners Mark Natalie and Bret Gill — have a passion for wine that they wanted to share with others. So they opened Vino in mid-January. The establishment offers more than 60 wines by the bottle, more than 20 by the glass, and 19 beers.
The place: Dimmed lights, sepia-colored walls and the steady hum of jazz give the lounge a relaxed vibe. Paintings that line the walls have a retro feel: One resembles a Mad Men outtake with a Don Draper-like figure relaxing on a couch. Vino has similar couches for lounging and a fireplace.
The crowd: Powers says it's hard to nail down this soon after opening, but he has noticed a lot of couples and small groups on weeknights. We were there from around 4:30 to 6 p.m. on a Saturday, and the crowd was small (a couple at the bar and a few other folks). Powers says it usually gets busier around 7.
The wine: A lot of it is from Napa, but Vino's selection also includes vintages from Italy, Spain, France and New York state. (Powers and company are hoping to add more local wines in the near future.) Vino also offers wine flights (samples of three wines) for $12 to $18. And plans are in the works to offer wine education classes.
The food: Vino patrons can order it from Marvin's Mozzeroni's Pizza and Pasta, which is upstairs from Vino and owned by Natalie. Powers says most red wines pair nicely with Italian dishes, and when in doubt, a beer/pizza combination is always a winner.
Love it: The lounge isn't usually open on Mondays, but it will be on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, when a buy one, get one free special on sparkling wine will be offered to couples (or single folks interested in drinking for two). In addition, a chocolate-flavored wine, Cocoa de Vine, will be available for $6 a glass. Powers describes the wine as having a strong chocolate taste, similar to Kahlua.
Good to know
What: A wine bar and lounge.
Where: 27 W. Main St., Webster
When: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
On tap: Wine ($7 to $90 by the bottle; $5 to $16 by the glass). There's beer, too ($3 to $18), including Labatt Blue, Coors Light, Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale and Mendocino White Hawk IPA, as well as large-format beers Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet and St. Louis Kriek Lambic, which come in what look like champagne bottles.
Drink specials: They change daily. When we visited, the specials were $5 glasses/$18 bottles of Lockhart Chardonnay '09 and Crosby Cabernet Sauvignon '09 and $2 bottles of Custom BrewCrafters Cream Porter.
Food: Vino patrons can order from Marvin Mozzeroni's Pizza and Pasta, which is upstairs. The menu includes calzones ($5.69 to $8.99), pasta dishes ($7.99 to $11.99) and seafood dinners ($7.99 to $9.99).
Music: Piped-in jazz and occasional live performances.
Parking: Free lot outside the bar and in several nearby public lots.
Contact: 827-9463 or www.vinoloungewebster.com