Now Playing

Bruschetta comes in an array of flavors including pear, taleggio and pistachio; semidried tomato and ricotta; and white bean, egg, tomato and basil.

Tapping In

by Austin Holt | Photography by Heather Murphy | Jezebel magazine | April 2, 2014

Atlanta really never got into the wine bar thing, did it? Sure, there are a couple of great vinocentric nightspots in the ATL that dole out some amazing small-batch vintages and tasty tapas (we’re looking at you, Barcelona), but we’re more of a craft cocktail kind of city. Must be a Southern thing (not that we’re complaining).

Ian Mendelsohn wants to put wine back on your radar. This aficionado has done everything from harvesting 1997’s legendary grape crop in Napa and serving as H&F Bottle Shop’s wine specialist to curating the wine acquisitions at Vegas’ Mirage Hotel & Casino and The St. Regis Atlanta. He knows his stuff, in other words. But he also knows that wine should be fun, so when he opened Vine & Tap on Lenox Road in the Lenox Village shopping center, he set out to strip the pretention from your pinot noir.

“I want people to enjoy wine they would never otherwise be able to try,” Mendelsohn says of his ever-changing selection of obscure vintages, “small-run stuff from some truly exceptional wineries the world over, but very laid-back.”

The relaxed, wood-trimmed space speaks of comfort—a well-appointed but unimposing atmosphere where sneakers and stilettos are equally at home. In the kitchen, a menu of paninis and small bites complement the wine list perfectly: The salmon croquettes are to die for, and be sure to ask about the sharable, savory terrine of the week.

But the bar is where the action is. A small, intentional assortment of glass and bottle options for every preference is guaranteed to delight the most fervent wine snob, and each comes with a story. Mendelsohn’s current favorite is the Psi by Peter Sisseck: A side project by a Spanish winery that usually produces $750 bottles, this $71 variation is painstakingly crafted and in limited supply (Georgia’s only getting a few cases). Some top-notch tap options are available by the glass or liter too—perfect for splitting on the outdoor patio.

Oh, and if wine’s not your thing, you’ll dig the half-dozen local and regional beers on draft. Then again, if wine isn’t your thing, it probably will be after a few hours here.

Vine & Tap
2770 Lenox Road NE
404.600.5820
@iansvino