Friday, April 27, 2012

What makes a good wine bar?

There was recently an article in the RFT about the nine best wine bars in St. Louis:

In the event that the link is no longer valid, I do want to capture what they were:
  • 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar 
  • Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar 
  • Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar  
  • Sasha's Wine Bar  
  • Pomme Cafe & Wine Bar  
  • Ernesto's Wine Bar  
  • The Wine Press  
  • Robust Wine Bar  
  • Vin de Set
(I have not yet been to Bridge, but I have been to the rest.)

It got me thinking-what makes a good wine bar?  About 2 or 3 years ago my wine club visited a wine bar a month - we didn't hit them all, but the basic requirement was they needed to have at least 15 options by the glass. Selection/ variety is important, probably the most important thing, in my opinion, in a wine bar. But what else makes a good wine bar?? How big of a difference does price play? What about the price per glass/bottle ratio? Food selection/ambiance? What about a combo wine bar/wine shop - does the option to purchase a bottle at retail (either with no or minimal corkage) and drink it there intice you or turn you off? (like St. Louis Wine Market or Balabans) Are things like quality of glassware/variety of sizes for different wines important?

Monday, April 16, 2012

My new favorite electronic invite

As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention, I have a wine club – the wine club’s invites are managed by an electronic invite site. I used to use evite, but I got tired of the huge ads and what not so I’ve switched. Recently, one of recent favorite “electronic invite” sites, Socializr, got bought and at first, things just didn't work right, then my favorite features went away- some I could pay for, but overall, even IF I wanted to pay, it wasn’t the same. Enter Anyvite. Things I like about it-it has an easy mobile interface (although it defaults to it when viewed in mobile, some people like that, some don’t) it doesn’t limit my description, let’s me customize the picture, still limits attendance and allows for comments, reminders, etc. You can even have an RSS feed on your website to keep track of invites. Things I don't like about it- not very "fancy" looking and the default mobile presence requires seperate clicking to view RSVPs and comments and the link to view it "standard" is at the bottom. One other thing is different-it counts "maybe's" as a "yes" in your total count, so make sure people know that.
Here's a quick look at the standard version online- as you can see, a small ad ontop, but really user friendly.

Here's the mobile version- as you can see, simpler, no pictures, seperate links to view guest RSVPs and comments, but very easy to RSVP and get the address. Note, I deleted the address and I put some arrows in to point out certain things, so this is a modified view.

All in all, I like Anyvite and will use it as long as it keeps offering these features for free! It took some serious googling to find it, however, so I wanted to share it with you all!