In these unprecedented times, where we are all in this together (if you’re playing bingo at home, there are two clichés we’re all hearing too often you can check off), you’re likely going through more of your wine than you ever have before. Heck, I have even updated my CellarTracker to keep track of my imbibing. But with all this tippling, we’re dipping deeper and deeper into our stash.
And now we need to replenish it. You do not want to run out of wine in these uncertain times. But how does one do so in this age of Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and limiting your shopping trips? Well, you’re in luck - as there are a few local wine clubs, restaurants, and programs that will bring wine to you or make it easy to pick that vino up. Cheers to that.
If you’re a wine drinker, it is definitely a buyer’s market as so much has suddenly become available for purchase. Wineries are opening up their libraries for purchase, and many are offering reduced shipping or other promotions to make it easier to get to you. Virtual wine tastings are up and rolling, restaurants are opening up their inventories of wine to purchase with your takeout or delivery, and we haven’t even mentioned cocktail kits! Home drinking is definitely rolling, but remember - a hangover is a hangover is a hangover. Imbibe responsibly, even if you are just stuck at home. Online shopping can be cruel when you have no idea what that random box is that just showed up from the other day’s bender.
addo’s Ingrid’s Wine Club
At this hyper creative and endlessly malleable spot on 24th Avenue, off of 65th in Ballard, addo has added a wine club to their array of choices that fit any and all eaters and drinkers. Called ‘Ingrid’s Wine Club’, addo’s Ingrid Lyublinsky features wines from small distributors that change weekly and fit addo’s menu offering. Currently the club offers five bottles for $135, or 10 bottles for $250 with plans on adding single bottle sales soon. The wines feature minimal intervention producers, meaning that the wines are often organic or natural and that during the winemaking no unnecessary steps to manipulate the wine are implemented. They have no-contact pickup and also offer delivery. Check out addo’s current scene and deliciously partake in hustle and grind of their team. They even have a pantry selling provisions that your local grocery is probably out of. Like flour! And yeast!
Brimmer & Heeltap’s Common Cents Wine Club
Located on the east end of Ballard’s Market Street before it heads uphill, Brimmer & Heeltap is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant yet also a destination. Owner Jen Doak has continued sharing her exceptional taste in wine by starting her Common Cents Wine Club earlier in the spring when the world shifted, and zoom was no longer a verb but a conferencing service. Doak aims to take Brimmer & Heeltap’s spirit of connection and sharing to the monthly wine club, sharing in the fun and life that these wines possess. Wines are available in either a three-bottle set for $50, or a six-bottle set for $100. Delivery is free if you live super close or if you can pick up from the restaurant. The wines are a set for the month and if you get your order in by the last Wednesday of the month, you’ll get in. The wines are curated by Doak and she aims for experience-driven wines in a fun way whether new or unfamiliar. Be prepared to learn and enjoy some wine.
Crunchy Red Fruit
Crunchy Red Fruit. Say it again. Descriptive isn’t it? What started out a descriptor for wine tasting always stuck in Jackson Rohrbaugh’s craw. It’s visceral, understandable, and fun. He gravitates to wines like that. When Rohrbaugh was thinking of starting his own company, he wanted it to be fun, loaded with discovery and value when it comes to wine and bring that vibe to more and more consumers. Crunchy Red Fruit was born January of this year on a model of six bottles delivered every two months, meant to be enjoyed sooner rather than later. But then the world changed and Rohrbaugh assessed the landscape, saw all his brethren in Seattle hospitality struggling with the sudden change in the restaurant world, and he wanted to help. Thus, the Crunchy Red Fruit Relief Box was born. $79 shipped or PPE-delivered around Seattle and it supports the Seattle Restaurant Relief Fund with 100% of proceeds going to the fund. The Relief Box continues the Crunchy Red Fruit ethos of organic, small production, and zero chemical intervention wines. The three-pack features two bottles from a local distributor/importer and one bottle from a local winery. The relief box comes with the Crunchy Red Fruit calling card of food pairings, music pairings, and even a movie pairing. The Relief Box to support the Seattle Restaurant Relief Fund continues through the month of May. And if you want to dive deep with Crunchy Red Fruit, his six-bottle pack continues to run for $189 shipped.
JarrBar’s Bottle Shop
I’ve long been a stan for Pike Place Market’s JarrBar (I’ve known owner Bryan Jarr for almost 30 years) and with their latest iteration, they’ve pivoted to a bottle shop, cocktail shop, charcuterie den, and food shop. Here’s the skinny: Jarr had long planned a trip to Spain this spring that was obviously cancelled and he’s now featuring wine picks from regions that he was going to visit. Wine bags of various bottles tend to either be $60 or $100 and the theme changes every week. Contactless delivery is available or swing by JarrBar and see what other bottles are offered. While you’re there, pick up their cocktail kits or buy some tinned fish or charcuterie. Adding to the allure of JarrBar is their partnership with the incomparable chef Zoi Antonitsas for some menu selections (the last few weeks have featured herb crusted lamb chops and brandade). To get in on the JarrBar offerings, check out their Instagram for what’s currently being offered.