Wine for All

Drinking democratically at Colonial Wine Bar

The Colonial Wine Bar's website doesn't hide its treasure.

When you pull up the wine list, the aspirational "reserve" bottles are at the top of the page, the vintages and prices scrolling past like vinous versions of Bentleys and Porches. Thankfully, owner David Haskell is running a far more democratic bar, one where the 99-percent can drink an excellent glass of wine too.

Haskell has seen his fair share of such lauded, mature wines as the reserve list's 1985 Charles Joguet Chinon ($145) however, having worked at such fine-dining icons as Le Cirque and Guy Savoy.

In the recent-vintage department, you can affordably drink your way through half-glass tastes, full pours and bottles. Lighter reds like the 2010 Loire Gamay from Clos du Tue-Boeuf ($5 per half-glass), which tastes of cherries and funk, had us considering a full bottle ($40 for 750 ml). But we opted to graze instead, tasting Slovenian reds and Hungarian rosés.

And to eat with those varied glasses of wine? Dishes like poutine ($16) doused in stinky Époisses, a tangle of braised oxtail sitting on top of the burnished fries, and deviled eggs topped with pickled jalapeños ($5).

The Colonial Wine Bar, 7166 Melrose Ave., Mid-City; 323-657-1827 or colonialwinebar.com