The Vine at Bridges
Health food in the East Bay is losing its snob appeal. Two new restaurants combine healthy, often organic ingredients to create quick meals—that don’t cost that much more than a Big Mac.
Photography by Joe Budd
When the people behind Bridges Restaurant in Danville open a combination retail shop and wine bar, East Bay oenophiles and those merely curious about the grape stuff rejoice.
The Vine at Bridges offers 30 wines in two-ounce tastes, five-ounce glasses, or by the bottle, and an additional 50 solely by the bottle. The adjacent store sells 300 different wines, and every wine in the wine bar and shop is served at Bridges. “We’re mainly emphasizing small producers,” says manager Curtis McMann. “We’re also going to represent as many international regions as possible. So, we’ll be able to help if someone wants to learn about, say, Côtes du Rhône or Brunello.”
Such a breadth of selection could make the typical wine drinker’s head spin. Thankfully, the pedigreed team at the Vine is as focused on education as it is on comprehensiveness.
Retour Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $70. Aromas of anise, plums, and forest floor. Flavors of fresh cherries and raspberries, lush black fruits, and tangerine peel. The broad mouthfeel has impressive weight and texture, and concludes with a long finish.
Audelssa Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, $36. Made from 100 percent cabernet sauvignon grapes, the wine’s nose has classic scents of black fruits, spice, and cedar. An enjoyable wine to drink now, but the balanced structure suggests it will age for up to five years.
Glatzer Grüner Veltliner, Austria, $14. Using one of the world’s up-and-coming grape varieties, this Grüner Veltliner is tremendously complex for the price. Notes of grapefruit and pear, with green apple and pineapple. Crisp minerality throughout the finish.