The Naked Grape Wine Station Always a Treat
August 14, 2012 by Whitney Rowan
It’s always a treat to visit The Naked Grape Wine Station at Gulf Place. The wine selection is superb and they book some of the best musical talent in SoWal.
When I arrived, manager Mike Mongogna recommended a glass of the Las Rocas Red Blend from Calatayud, Spain, which is a lighter red blend with bright fruit on the palate, medium bodied and has a smooth finish.
I also enjoyed a glass of the Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. It presents with black current and big cherry aromas, a soft texture and spicy finish. I prefer a California red, so it was right up my alley.
I was fortunate to land there on a Wednesday evening when the weekly sushi menu is served. Sushi chef Ryan Alexander prepared a seaweed salad along with the special of the week. The salad was a plentiful portion of seaweed dressed with shaved carrots and sliced cucumbers. It was sweet with a hint of salty, and served as a perfect palate pleaser leading up to the sushi.
The Yes Sir! Roll featured eight rolls stuffed with fresh tuna, shrimp, steak, red and green peppers, cucumber, homemade tempura and sriracha, topped with avocado, chile oil and chive oil. I loved the surf and turf combo and the tempura crunchies provided good texture along with the bite from the veggies.
As I enjoyed my wine and sushi, Reed Waddle entertained the crowd. Reed is a SoWal-area talent who is making a name for himself in the New York City songwriter/singer scene. Mario McNally books all of the music talent and says he likes to feature local and non-local musicians alike. Other artists that frequent Naked Grape are Kyle Lamonica, Chris Alvarado, Dannica Lowery and Daphne Willis.
The Naked Grape is unique in many ways but the wine station is a must- see. It’s like an arcade for wine drinkers. Wine cards are purchased in monetary values of $10, $25, $50 and $100. Twelve reds and 12 whites are featured and you have the choice of purchasing a tasting, half glass and full glass. It’s a great way to try several different wines without breaking the bank.
Mongagna keeps the bottle list consistent, while the “by the glass” offerings are updated every few weeks. He also rotates an eight-beer variety on tap, with the exception of the Grayton IPA which is always available. The tapas menu is served daily, while the sushi menu is Wednesdays only. Be sure to check out the SoWal Live Music Calendar for upcoming performances at The Naked Grape Wine Station!