“I’ve always loved downtown and its potential for growth,” she said. “There aren’t very many places that offer a lot of wines by the glass, and we wanted to create a place and a list where people could try a variety of wines you can’t find everywhere.”
Chesser’s love of wine led her to convert the building into one of the city’s most elegant, cutting-edge bars.
As if the wine list, one of the metro’s largest, weren’t enough of a draw, she added state-of-the-art wine stations from Napa Technologies, common to Dallas’ nicest wine bars.
The additions allow customers to purchase wines by the ounce, half-glass or glass. While the original idea was to let customers operate the machines by swiping credit cards, Chesser said the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission ruled out that possibility.
right Andrew Reynolds at Vin Dolce
“They classified them as vending machines, and you can’t dispense alcohol from a vending machine,” she said. “Still, it worked out, because it forced us to be a full-service bar.”
The wine stations are behind the bar now, but customers can still get wines by the ounce, including 16 super-premium wines like Opus, Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet and Joseph Phelps Insignia. The glasses for the super-premiums range from $28 to $68.
Chesser said her top sellers are Jaqk High Roller Cabernet and Morgan 12 Clones Pinot Noir. The Jaqk line of wines, which came to Oklahoma last
year, is the brainchild of Hatch, a San Francisco-based graphic design
The wines are sourced from Napa Valley and gaining a well-deserved reputation for excellence. Chesser said she recently added the Jaqk Bone Dance Merlot, one of the best Merlots available in the state.
Vin Dolce also recently added wine flights. Customers can choose from Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Italian, Interesting White and the Napa High Roller, which features Plumpjack Reserve Cabernet, Shafer Hillside Select and Opus. The wines in each are preset, and the flights consist of three 2-ounce pours.
The bar also features food, which Chesser said is served small-plate style.
“We decided to avoid calling it ‘tapas,’” she said. “Stylistically and regionally, it’s not accurate.”
Photo by Shannon Cornman