Bar Review - Tastings

Decatur wine shop offers self-serve samples

THE CONCEPT: Tastings is a franchise that offers more than 100 wines. Buy a bottle from the retail wall or sample using a charge card at the self-service electronic wine kiosks (who needs a sommelier when you have a wine-bot?).

THE CROWD: Seasoned wine lovers intrigued by the new concept mix with aspiring oenophile newbies. Organized tasting events and wine classes are especially good for new initiates.

THE WINE: More New World than Old, more standards than surprises. Look to the pinot noirs for the most interesting finds.

THE FOOD: The menu ranges from build-your-own cheese and charcuterie plates to flatbread pizzas to "bistro plates" such as porter-braised short ribs.

THE VALUE: After charging up our "Tastings" card with the suggested $20 starter balance, it became clear why our server recommended we keep the tab open. Our $20 bought us two "tastes" and one "half-glass." Be prepared to spend some serious cash if you want your wine to last through your appetizers.

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