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MarkS

Grapes Wine Bar, Very Reasonably Priced Wines by the Bottle in Annapolis Right Next Door to Wine Cellars of Annapolis

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I've visited Grapes Wine Bar in Annapolis at least three times in the past month as we are closing on a house nearby.  We had a great dinner there Saturday night and prior times have enjoyed food and wine at the bar.

This is a wine bar with a great selection of wines by the glass and bottle.  Lots of chalkboard specials and special pours that night.  Small but reasonable menu with good cheese slections and all good entrees.  The whipped Goat Cheese with Fig jam is amazing.

This is a locals spots on Forrest drive outside of downtown Annapolis.  Thus the crowds aren't there and there isn't a wait to get seated.  The prices are not upscale DC or Bethesda but reasonable and laid back Annapolis.  I saw a bottle of Billecart Salmon Rose Champagne for $90, retail is not much less.  I'll be drinking the Friday night after we close on this house.

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The prices on their wines by the bottle reminds me of how great Evening Star Cafe is (being right next door to Planet Wine, and offering over 1,000 different bottles). Being next door to (and owning) a wine store, makes a restaurant a wine-lover's dream, and it almost always pays to purchase wines by the bottle - often at $10 over retail, and you can take home what you don't finish.

Grapes Wine Bar is filed away in my memory, the next time I go to Annapolis, thanks to your post.

Repeat this sentence ten times:

Paul Autard Côes du Rhí´ne is $18 a bottle!

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Grapes recently welcomed a new chef and has begun offering nightly specials.  That and the fact that I pass by here every day that I am in Annapolis makes for frequents visits.  This is truly a locals place where the servers know me and I'm offered tastes of wines that are open as I saddle up to the bar.  Now that Annapolis is overtaken by tourists and there is no hope of getting into some places such as Ino909, Grapes is truly a go to place.   Always reliable, mostly inspired and a great wine list.  Cheeses and Meats are a strength as well as they leverage the gourmet shop 2 doors down.

If your ever in Naptown, you should stop here.

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Participated in a paired wine dinner at Grapes last Sunday.  The wines were from Carpenter, a small Sonoma producer, whose winemaker presented each wine.  All great.

All 5 courses were great but what Blew me away was a seared Scallop on a squash puree with micro greens and Bacon Powder.  BACON POWDER rocks.  Repeat.  BACON POWDER was amazing.

This is a casual wine bar whose chef has elevated the food to a "Bold" rating.  Given that the kitchen is smaller then what I have at home, his prep and vision are creating some well executed and solid cuisine.

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Another great dinner at Grapes this past Saturday night.  met some friend and they were thrilled with both the Sancerre and the whipped goat cheese appetizer.  Followed it up with another bottle of wine and small plates of Ciopino  well priced at $15 for the bowl.  This is close to my house, never disappoints and they know me by name.

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6 hours ago, MarkS said:

Another great dinner at Grapes this past Saturday night.  met some friend and they were thrilled with both the Sancerre and the whipped goat cheese appetizer.  Followed it up with another bottle of wine and small plates of Ciopino  well priced at $15 for the bowl.  This is close to my house, never disappoints and they know me by name.

Sancerre and goat cheese are both staples in the Loire valley. Another one of those regional matches that's usually shockingly good.  Others to try: a cold glass of Chablis and a really ripe Epoisses.  The coolest one, IMO, really ripe Gorgonzola and Amarone Recioto. It shows you how these products were made to go with each other.

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 I speak for peoplekind when I proclaim that the fetishization of food has become hyper-exhausting. But shit Mark, I could listen to you sing for awhile.

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Chefs tasting menu at Grapes last night.  The chef is killing it with a kitchen that seems smaller then the one in my house.  This is a wine bar first and is your friendly neighborhood bistro with great wine an delicious food.

Deviled eggs 4 way was a great starter.  Classic, with Roe, Lobster and great.  All great presentations.

Branzino on a bed of quinoa.  Fish perfect, quinoa bright.  Paired with a Chianti, superb.

Lamp Chops with white Asparagus, spinish reduction.  Paired with a Gigonda. Great.

Great meat 90 pp including pairings.  This is a gem. Friendly.  Run into neighbors, know the staff, type of place.

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