If you’re looking for a unique date night experience, Vino Venue should be tops on your list. We recently visited for the first time and loved every second. There are so many ways to experience it, you just can’t go wrong.
Here is how we recommend you step your way through a night with Dunwoody’s Vino Venue:
Start With Wine Tasting
When you head into Vino Venue, tell the person at the desk that you want to sample the wine selections. They will give you a card (it looks like a hotel room card) and you’ll add as much or as little money to the card as you’d like. If you ask me, $20 is a good place to start (though we ended up adding an additional $50 for two people.)
A staff member will show you how to use the card, and tell you a bit about the wine dispensers. Basically, you insert your card into the slot, select your wine, put your glass under the spout and push a button to indicate if you want a 1oz, 2.5oz or 5oz pour.
The price per bottle and per pour are indicated for each wine, and the card slot calculator always tells you how much money you have left on your card.
There are four different dispenser areas, each with eight bottles – so 32 different wines are always available to taste. They are constantly rotating so each time you visit you can sample something different.
We started with the white wines – there are eight available for tasting. Then we moved to the reds…starting with the eight premium bottles.
The premium bottles range from about $50 to over $100. I loved sampling from here. I just can’t afford to put down that much money for a bottle, but it was super amazing to take a 1oz or 2.5 oz taste from these impeccable selections.
We spent most of our time on the two red wine, mid-ranged machines (they are pushed together to look like one circular machine, but don’t let this fool you.) This is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, and the wines are particularly impressive.
You can take your time sampling the wine, or move through it as rapidly as you’d like…there is no “guide” or “time slot” for your tasting. We enjoyed taking a seat at one of the chairs, discussing the wine, and discussing a strategy (which was, “try as many as possible.” lol.)
I absolutely loved the self-service wine tasting area. Seriously, this is one for the books! Dan and I will absolutely visit here several times again. It’s a great way to get a date started (heck – great for those of you on first date,) hang out with the girls for a night of fun, or even plan a relaxed “after hours” business meeting.
Add An Appetizer Or Two
Want to sample a few drinks and then Uber off to a movie? No problem. But I recommend relaxing and enjoying the experience. In order to do that, you’re going to want to fill your tummy. Feel free to order a few appetizers in the wine tasting area.
We were lucky enough to meet Executive Chef Patric Good and Sous Chef Will Hunt. Chef Patric allowed us to try three of his favorite appys – and they were delicious!
We started with the Pumpkin Salad (and this was my personal favorite!) Baby arugula is topped with a savory roasted Japanese pumpkin, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds – drizzled with a heavenly walnut vinaigrette. Coming in for a light lunch? Add some chicken …you won’t find a better salad.
We also loved the Salmon Rillettes. Duck Trap salmon is served in a small mason jar, topped with cucumber relish. Dig in with a serving knife and spread it on a crusty grilled sourdough. Yum.
Dan’s favorite was the Truffle Mac, and yes it was as divine as it sounds. A warm crock is filled with pasta, creamy white cheddar with a touch of black truffle cream. This one is hearty, and will fill you up!
Stay For Dinner
Had we known what to expect, you can bet we would have stayed for dinner. Don’t make our mistake – save some time for the full plates (or better yet, make a reservation…come early for the wine tasting, and then grab your table when it’s time.)
One of the staff members told us that his favorite meal is the Red Wine Braised Short Rib. So delicious he said, he orders it once a week! It’s paired with polenta, and green beans. Mmmm.
You’ll also find steak, burgers, crab cakes, flatbread…even poutine topped with a bit of that short rib I mentioned earlier.
Book A Class
We received a sneak peek in the back where they have “dueling kitchens” ideal for classes. I know you’re going to love Vino Venue as much as we did…and this is a great way to extend your experience.
The cooking classes are hands-on and (of course) include wine tastings and pairings. I would love to take one of the wine classes. They have beginner classes, classes that focus on a specific region (like Napa or France,) or pairing classes. There is even a class on how to do a tasting!
When we visited, we saw a couple receiving a private wine session. What a fun wedding gift for the couple who has everything.
Speaking of gifts (hint, hint Santa) don’t miss their Memberships. It includes 4 or 6 bottles, free annual wine club dinner, and 12 wine tastings….plus a lot more! It’s totally on my wish list!
Bring Home A Bottle
Finally, Vino Venue is home to about 200 different bottles of wine. Bring home a bottle (or 2…or 3…) to enjoy at home between this visit and the next.
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Disclosure: Thanks for Vino Venue for the wine tastings and appys. We are so thankful to have been able to experience this! We love it, and will be back again and again. Opinions here are all our own (as always!)
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.