The Wine Loft in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a new scene in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. It’s warm and cozy yet modern with soft lighting, including candle light with a wide open area and attentive staff. It’s called The Wine Loft.

My family found this one evening while we were celebrating our twins 17th birthday at another restaurant. We had made a wrong turn and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the word wine, I love wine; we just had to drive by! It looked neat so when my parents were in town from Williamsburg, VA we just had to check this place out; they also love wine!

The parking in downtown Birmingham can be difficult on a Friday and Saturday evening but The Wine Loft has this covered; they offer valet parking so you don’t have to keep driving around looking for a parking space. Upon entering the establishment you are greeted by a very friendly staff employee. She seated us in an area that consisted of 2 sofas, 2 chairs, coffee table and 2 end tables; the sofas and chairs were covered with a very comfortable soft black material.

There are several areas like this that are separated by open woven golden drapes that hung from the high ceiling. Next to the windows were small tables with big black stools. These are not your ordinary bar stools!

Our waiter was very pleasant and introduced us to the wine list and menu. We were told upon deciding our wine he would help us choose the right type of dish that would go with our wine choice. Deciding what wine we would like was hard. The Wine Loft offers over 70 different types of wine by the glass and over 150 different wines by the bottle. So as you can imagine the choice was hard.

After we had finally decided on our wine, we chose a Chardonnay and my parents chose a Pinot Noir, the waiter recommended the Shrimp Scampi with Goat Cheese Grits and Pork Sausage for the Chardonnay and for the Pinot Noir the Baked Brie garnished with Lavender Honey and Balsamic Drizzle. We only had to wait about 5 minutes and the waiter was back ready for our approval of the wine we had chosen.

As we sat back to visit and enjoy our wine, we observed the establishment. There was a birthday party going on, on the other side of the room. This area is also separated by the woven drapes, the main bar is at the back of the room with a tasting bar centered in the middle.

The dress is basically business casual, this is a nice place to meet after a long week of work. My husband and dad were wearing nice shorts so they did feel at first a little out of place but we were made right at home and we felt welcome.

While we were enjoying our wine, the General Manager came over and introduced herself. We all had a nice conversation. She told us a little about The Wine Loft and how it was started. My parents have traveled a lot in America, but have never come across a place like this.

The Wine Loft started out in New Orleans and opened its doors in 2002. Its intent is to provide a comfortable, relaxed environment, where wine would be used as a conduit to create a unique social experience. The General Manager told us that they do offer some beer, sodas and water but the importance is on wine. The staff is thoroughly trained in wine and dishes offered.

Since 2002 The Wine Loft franchise has expanded to 6 establishments: Downtown Dallas, Houston Midtown, Huston River Oaks, Mobile, Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, Lafayette, Louisiana and are looking out for more locations.

Our dishes arrived and I have to say they were “delicious.” I especially do not like grits but these were great. After we had finished the waiter removed our plates and offered us desert but we passed on this. I’m sure their deserts are just as delicious as the wine and dish was!

We were also fortunate to be introduced to the Proprietor of The Wine Loft. He was a very easy gentleman to speak to, made you feel welcome .His son is also part owner and is the wine buyer. I have to say his son does a fine job with the wine list.

White wines by the glass basically range from $7 to $19, red wines range from $8 to $51. Desert wines range from $6 to $28. If you are stopping in for just one glass this is the way to go but if you are going to be there for awhile you should buy your wine by the bottle. Our Chardonnay for the bottle was $24.

The menu consists of 12 wine dishes and range from $9 to $16 dollars. The portions of the meals are generous, the Shrimp Scampi with Goat Cheese Grits and Pork Sausage ($12) was just the right amount for my husband and myself.

The Wine Loft offers half off selected bottles of wine ranging from $50 to $150, every Tuesday and every Wednesday there is a wine rep on hand to present a complimentary wine tasting. Every Thursday The Wine Loft offers 2 wines at $5 a glass. Basically these are wines that are on the current list but some can be wines that they are testing.

If you live in the Birmingham area or you know you will be visiting you have to stop in to enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere!

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