Tag Archives: wine flights

The Bottle Room

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Happy Wine Wednesday!

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We found The Bottle Room completely by accident, as we were driving back to my parents house while there for a weekend in 2012. Rob spotted it and I took the roundabout all the way around to go back to it!

A wine bar?

In Green Bay?

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When I moved to the Twin Cities from Green Bay in 2002, there wasn’t even a coffee shop near my parents’ place. Not even a Starbucks in the entire city.

Now I can’t even think of a decent wine “South of the River” in the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburbs where we live. Not only was this wine bar in Green Bay, but it was just minutes away from where my parents lived.

While I was growing up, there wasn’t really anything nearby because we lived more on the outskirts of Green Bay near the villages of Howard and Suamico. Ordering pizza in was unheard of. But now, Lineville Road is lined with restaurants, grocery stores, multiple gas stations, an auto parts store, a Shopko, a bowling alley and now…

A WINE BAR?

We walked in that evening to find a much larger than expected space filled with people, live music and great ambiance. We were highly impressed and felt instantly at ease…

We’ve been back to The Bottle Room every visit to Green Bay since then.

They have a lot to offer… For instance, their Wine Flights:

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When I told my fellow Wineaux friend Jenny about this place, she knew she wanted to stop there when she came to town for a Packer Game. These next several photos are courtesy of her. {Thanks, Jenny!}

That night, most of the gang went with the wine flights.

Wine Flight Delivery...

Wine Flight Delivery…

My dad with his whites and Rob with his reds:

Jenny ordered a mixed flight of sorts that was available at the time:

That night, I wasn’t feeling the flights, so I went with a cocktail:

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Can you guess which cocktail I enjoyed?

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I like, too, that they offer liquor flights. What a better way to learn what you like than spend a ton of money on a bottle of liquor at a store.

And there is more to their menu than the usual run-of the mill wines. They do have some interesting lesser-known options.

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But I do wonder how the business thrives here. The prices seem more on par with the Twin Cities, not those of Green Bay. I couldn’t imagine that a lot of people would pay these prices in this area. But the place was packed that first night we were there and when we went back with Jenny!

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One of my favorite things to order here, though, is a flight of ports. It comes with a chocolate truffle!

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Those truffles are sooooo good, that I’ve been known to just order a glass of port and a few truffles a la carte… 😉

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But wait… There’s more….

They have a few ever-changing craft beer selections on tap, too:

You can even take home the draft beer in a refillable growler! There’s also an extensive list of beers by the bottle:

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With over 75 wines and all of those beers, you’d think that’d be enough to be called The Bottle Room. But it is also a retail space. You can buy any of the wines that you liked to take home with you.

The selections line the wall:

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There is food, too. They describe it as tapas-style. I wouldn’t go that far. It’s more a selection of small plates, mini pizzas and sandwiches.

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Rob adored the Truffle Pizza on our first visit so much that he was disappointed that he tried the Old World Pepperoni the next time. Besides $14 – $15 is a lot for such a small pizza. I mean, even we wouldn’t pay that in the Twin Cities.

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One day, as I was thumbing through an issue of Wine Spectator Magazine, I saw The Bottle Room listed with an Award of Excellence! If I remember correctly, it was noted as a new wine bar and a new winner of that award. I wasn’t surprised.

I dream of having a place like this “South of the River!”

I only have one gripe about The Bottle Room. We visited one afternoon with my mom and were the only people there. My mom ordered a cup of coffee. When she finished her cup, she had to ask for a refill. When we got our bill, they charged her for two coffees for a total of $6. That just seems kind of ridiculous to me. They had to brew the pot regardless if she had one cup or two. It wasn’t like it was an espresso or specialty coffee.

Still, we’ll continue to return because we love the selection and ambiance and don’t know how long The Bottle Room will thrive in this market. We sure hope it does. It’s a little slice of heaven in Green Bay, if you ask me…

Do you have a favorite wine bar near you?

What’s the best wine bar you’ve ever experienced?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Surdyk’s Flights – Getting to the Airport

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We like to get to the airport early. I’m talking, at the very least, two hours before flight time. It’s not just to give us time to go through security. We know there’s plenty of time for that. But we don’t want to feel rushed. When we are going on vacation, we want to start our vacation right away. And for us, it starts at the airport, before we even leave the soil of our resident state.

I know a lot of people don’t like to dine at airports because they think it is too expensive. And it is. But there is something to be said about starting your vacation the minute you get through security. Sure, if I have a morning flight, I generally do eat ahead of time or bring a banana or Fiber One Bar or some nuts of some sort along with me for some a.m. fuel. Then, when I find the nearest coffee shop (be it Starbucks or Caribou Coffee), I get myself a nice, warm and happy medium Americano. {I especially do this if said flight is 7am or earlier!}

However if we are going to have a little lunch or dinner at the MSP airport, I insist that we go here:

Surdyk's Flights (source shopmsp.com)

Surdyk’s Flights (source shopatmsp.com)

Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop is located in Northeast Minneapolis and has been an institution since 1934. Not too long ago, Surdyk’s put a wine market and bar in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (Terminal 1, aka the Lindbergh Terminal). Cleverly named Surdyk’s Flights, it’s where I like to get a flight or glass of wine pre-departure… and not to mention, a little bit of grub!

The first time I discovered Surdyk’s Flights, I enjoyed a flight of wines with a salami sandwich. It was simple and delicious. This isn’t a fancy wine bar. There’s just a handful of two-person booths and a side counter that serves as a bar. The food menu is simple: cheeses, meats, antipasti, salads and sandwiches. That’s it. And if you are on the run, you can grab one of their pre-made sandwiches to go. And these aren’t your average airport-to-go sandwiches. These are made with high quality, fresh ingredients. Grab one for your flight and your seatmate will be soooo jealous.

I’ve forced Rob to try Surdyk’s Flights when we travel together. After the first time, I haven’t needed to twist his arm again.

When we flew to Las Vegas this past winter, we sat at the bar for lunch. After perusing the beverage menus, we decided on wine flights. I went with the Tiny Bubbles because bubbly is something that’s not often served by the glass. And getting Rob to share a bottle with me is rare.

Tiny Bubbles

Flight of Tiny Bubbles: Vinho Verde, Prosecco, Moscato d’Asti

Rob went with a flight of reds:

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The Robust Reds: Desert Wind “Ruah”, Klinker Brick Farrah Syrah, Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel

I love the tomatoes behind the glass in that photo! Among that flight of wines, Rob actually ended up finding a new favorite that day…

Klinker Brick

Klinker Brick Farrah Syrah from Lodi, California

If you aren’t in the mood for wine, they do offer beer by the bottle and some fun cocktails…

DRINKS

I like the idea of the MSP Overshot! Remember when that happened? I love that they made a drink named after it.

That day, we ordered a cheese and meat platter:

meat and cheeses

Selection of Three Cheeses & Three Salumi – $16
with olives, cornichon, fruits, nuts and marinated vegetables

It may not look like much, but it was the perfect amount of food for two. Really.

On our next trip to Surdky’s Flights, Rob really wanted to get the wine he adored on the previous visit, since he hadn’t seen it since:

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Here’s the cool thing… Since Surdyk’s Flights is also a wine shop {you’ve already gone through security, so you can purchase wine to take aboard your flight}, when you order a bottle of wine, you pay for the shop price of the bottle – not the double or triple retail price you see at most restaurants! SF-Klinker BrickTherefore, the cost of this bottle was only $17.99! That’s virtually unheard of in a restaurant. However, if you want to order a glass of this wine at Surdyk’s, you’ll pay $11. No kidding.

passport book and cigs. drress

I love that your check comes in a little passport book with some candy cigarettes…

On this occasion, we decided to on just the cheese:

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Selection of Three/Five Cheeses – $12/$16
with quince paste, fruits and nuts

And although they aren’t pictured, I’d highly recommend the sandwiches… especially if you don’t get to the airport early enough to sit down and have a pre-vacay beverage.

I adore Surdyk’s Flights. And there’s got to be a reason why it’s rated one of the best airport wine bars, even though it doesn’t really have a bar feel.

How early do you get to the airport?

Cheers~
Carrie