Living this close to Napa, it’s easy to want to learn more about wine, but when you start thinking about it, that can seem more daunting than learning a new language. There are all the new terms you need to understand like “Beaujolais” and “stemware.” Then there’s the price and the feeling that everyone around you at tastings and wine shops knows way more than you do. That’s why we like places like Amelie. This small wine bar in Polk Gulch makes learning about wine as much fun as actually drinking it.
The best thing about this place is the daily Happy Hour from 5pm-7pm where you can get things like $7 cracker-crust flatbreads and a huge cheese and charcuterie platter to split with your friends as a light snack. But whatever food you get, you’ll have trouble reaching it because the Happy Hour also includes $12 wine flights with three half-glass pours - enough to crowd your table and make it look like you and your friends are training to play the glass harp by the Ferry Building for tourists. Every tasting is customized so you can choose what you want to learn about or let your server decide for you if you have no idea.
Amelie feels like somewhere every Julia Stiles character from the early 2000s would have hung out - it’s small, bright, and warm lit by lamps made out of red wine bottles, sometimes there’s live music, and the menus come clipped to old records. It’s a great place to bring a few friends before the week gets too hectic, or a first date when you need some stuff going on around you so things never get too quiet. It doesn’t feel too serious, which can help a lot when you’re trying to learn the difference between Chablis and chardonnay.