Category Archives: Buying

Tips to choosing wine

Poco Wine Room

Yesterday Alex and I finally checked out the Poco Wine Room, a beautiful little restaurant/wine/cocktail house in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. We’ve been meaning to go there for ages, but it’s tough to hit all those must-visit places when you live somewhere so rich in bars and restaurants.

Poco Wine Room

When we walked in from a typically-rainy Seattle evening, Poco Wine Room felt cozy and intimate. There were several people at the bar so we headed to a table in the loft-like upstairs. It was lit by candles and small lights and felt like somewhere I could get used to visiting.

Poco Wine Room Loft

We ordered a few small plates including an amazing caponata that I highly recommend. The food items on their online menu are slightly different from what was there in person, but it gives you a good idea of the type of food available. Four appetizer-sized plates were enough for dinner for the two of us and everything was very good.

Poco Wine Room menu

Poco Wine Room menu

And here’s the fun part: The wine. 

I ordered a Carmel Coast Chardonnay, $11.00 for a glass. It was the first time I’ve had a nice glass of wine out since I started this blog project and I noticed a huge uptick in my confidence when it came to both ordering and tasting. I really liked the tasting notes on the menu. They were clear and really gave me a good idea of what I was ordering. Alex got a beer, but we both tasted the Chardonnay and were impressed. It had notes of tropical fruits but wasn’t too sweet. I definitely could have gone for another glass, but alas it was a Wednesday and we had things to do.

Carmel Coast Chardonnay

Carmel Coast Chardonnay

Overall, we had a great time. The food was good, the wine was great and the atmosphere was perfect for a rainy night. The staff were also fantastic. Poco Wine Room is the perfect place to have a snack and a great glass of wine. It’s fairly quiet despite being relatively close quarters and perfect for a romantic evening or an intimate chat with a friend.

Here’s a Plus: Happy Hour

If you know me, you know I live for happy hours. Poco Wine Room has HH daily until 6:30 pm. They also have late-night happy hour from 10 pm to midnight Sunday- Thursday.

  • Happy hour Specials: $2 off glass, $8 off bottle in addition to happy hour food menu

You can visit, too:

Twitter: @PocoWineRoom


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Filed under Buying, Seattle Wine Store/Restaurant/Tasting Reviews

Wine App Review: Vivino

Although I probably spend more time with my iPhone than with my husband, I’m really not a huge app user. Sure, I have like a gazzilion of them, but besides Facebook and The Stranger’s “Cocktail Compass” Happy Hour finder (download that right now if you’re in Seattle) I tend to veer more towards Google when I need something an app could provide. But my app-free life might be about to change because… dun dun dun… There are WINE APPS out there. Quite a few, actually (ask Mashable). I’ll give you a moment to let your pulse slow after that incredibly exciting piece of news.

I decided to download one to try it out and chose Vivino because Forbes  said it was cool. And it’s free. And is SCANS wine bottles which is awesome.

After downloading the app, signing up with Vivino, creating a profile and connecting to Twitter I was ready to use my new app. The first thing I wanted to try was scanning a bottle. I had that we’ve been saving for ages, a wedding gift from my friends John and Joe. I grabbed it and followed the  instructions to “scan” a bottle, which basically just had me take a picture of the label. Seconds later it KNEW MY WINE. And blew my mind. It identified the bottle as an Elderton Barossa Command Shiraz. 4 stars with a consistantly HIGH rating in a variety of categories.

Vivino App

Vivino App

The page told me a little about the wine, pairings and serving tips and allowed me to rate it myself and add some notes about it. Then it takes the scanned wine and puts it in my “my wines” category for me to go back to if I want to.

Pretty amazing because I am constantly buying wines, loving then and then promptly forgetting what the heck I bought. The app seems to be trying to build a kind of social network where you can see what your friends’ wines are and people can follow you and you can get “badges”. I already have three, somehow.  This is all well and good, but only useful if your friends are on the app too. Mine aren’t. Yet. Get on it, people. You can download it here.

(Note: This App is available for iPhone and Android phones. You can also download an “older” version for Windows phones and even if you have a BlackBerry.)

This app seems very useful for two reasons. 

1) Remembering wines I like

and 2) Checking out wines in a store and instantly being able to see their ratings and reviews with the click of the camera button

Also, it’s really fun to take pictures of a label and have the app identify it. REALLY fun.

I’m going to go scan all the wines in my wine rack, see you later wine lovers.

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Filed under Beginner's Guide, Buying, How to Choose a Bottle