Whether you're looking for a place to leisurely sip a glass of wine or craft beer while chatting with friends, or you just want a bottle or six pack to take home, Wine With Me in Itasca has you covered. The cozy spot, which celebrates its fifth anniversary next month, keeps things fresh with a constantly changing drink list.
Motif: The retail selection dominates most of the space, located at 111 Gigi Gruber Lane, with coolers filled with craft beers and shelves stocked with all varieties of wine, spirits, accessories and wine-friendly snacks. Wine-themed paintings hang from the walls, which are colored with mellow yellow and orange hues. The bar is decorated with huge bottles along with glowing grapevine lights and tea candles. You can watch sports on a TV behind the bar, though most guests prefer to grab a tall, cushioned chair at one of the round tables.
Wine With Me111 Gigi Gruber Lane, Itasca, (847) 250-5041, winewithmeitasca.com
Hours: 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday
Crowd: The space draws mostly nicely dressed professionals ages 30 and up. While plenty of people like to linger and drink there, the spot also appeals to commuters looking to grab a bottle of wine to go.
Food: Wine With Me sells a variety of cheeses, crackers and charcuterie on the retail side and you can buy them a la carte and have the staff make you a plate to nibble on and pack the rest to go. The bar also has a collection of menus from local restaurants, so customers wanting to order something more substantial can get food delivered there.
Liquid consumption: The menu features 25 wines by the glass, typically priced at from $5 to $15 for a six-ounce pour. About a quarter of the selection changes every other week, but you can count on your choices spanning the globe. The menu is conveniently arranged from light to heavy and includes sparkling and dessert varieties. You can also buy any of their 600 retail bottles and drink one there for a $10 corkage fee. Beer fans will also be satisfied, with 30 to 35 craft brews available by the bottle.
Service: We were quickly greeted and given glasses of water when we sat down at the bar, and our server was fast to offer refills for an empty glass. When a woman sitting next to me expressed curiosity about what I was drinking, a new-to-the-menu dessert wine, the server poured her a taste.
Parking: There's a small free lot, but parking can be tight.
Overall: Wine With Me provides a relaxed place to try a new drink and the convenience of being able to bring home a bottle or two if you find you like it.