Wine Bars We Love in South Walton
May 29, 2014 by Leanne King
We've got some great wine bars here at the beach in South Walton. On any given afternoon, life at the beach just might entail stepping inside for a quick glass, only to emerge a few hours later to step into a taxi to head to the next bodega. Let's explore some of our favorites in our latest SoWal List.
Borago is local favorite located on Scenic 30A in Grayton Beach. Borago is a great Italian restaurant and may seem an unlikely addition to our Wine Bar list if you haven't experienced the coveted seats at the bar. In keeping with the wine bar definition, Borago has an atmosphere that is unpretentious, homey and sometimes lively.
Their full menu ranges from house made focaccia bread with parmesan, cracked pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar; to Arugula salad with Gorgonzola cheese, toasted walnuts, lemon and extra virgin olive oil; to Chicken Linguine with pancetta, shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh corn and parmesan cream; and then to Balsamic glazed pork tenderloin with fingerling potato hash and grilled asparagus. Borago is open 7 days a week at 5:30 through November and closed on Sundays January through mid-February (holiday hours vary).
Crush Wine Bar is in the heart of Seaside on the square and is a spot ideal for smaller, more intimate gatherings. Crush provides a hip and sophisticated atmosphere, while carrying 24 wines by the glass as well as an extensive wine list. Crush also has an outdoor covered terrace, creating a perfect wine bar at the beach experience. Still casual, Crush often leans more toward sophisticated. The menu boasts divine cheese and charcuterie boards, daily wine-paired specials, soups, salads, sandwiches, small plates and flat bread pizzas. Not to mention desserts such as Dark Chocolate Torte, walnut graham cracker crust, chocolate mousse and bing-cherry compote. Open 7 days a week, Crush's daily happy hour from 4 - 6 p.m. features 1/2 price wine, beer and sushi!
La Crema Tapas and Chocolate was created from a love for Barcelona (not to mention wine and chocolate). The beautiful, naturally-lit gem is a place to linger with friends while enjoying great flavors. The wines of La Crema are all organic and imported from Spain. The tapas menu features Serrano-wrapped figs, honey goat cheese stuffed piquillos and lobster-stuffed mushroom caps. The chocolate menu features delights such as chocolate soup, chocolate duet fondue and the OMG espresso cookie. La Crema is open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday thru Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Lumpy's Wine Bar in the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin has an eclectic atmosphere. They describe themselves as: "…a "Bohemian" atmosphere with warm candlelight, cozy furniture, eclectic art, cool music and a Mediterranean style patio scene". As fall grows near they invite you to have a cheese plate with fine vine and to bring friends for conversations by the fireplace. Lumpy's is dog friendly, and how could it not be, Lumpy himself is a retired dachshund. Open 7 days a week, Lumpy's is a great place to gather to watch the Village happenings. There are fun and informative wine tastings nightly, interesting people, and memories in the making! Enjoy your wine with a cheese plate, baked feta, marinated shrimps, hummus, truffles or a fine cigar.
Vin'tij Wine Boutique is located across from Silver Sands in Miramar Beach It feels like a wine bar crossed with an art gallery that is reflective of a free spirit, and somehow brilliantly tied in with a vintage bookstore feel. The decor is bright and quirky in a delicious way! The beautiful green wood shelves are reminiscent of a little vintage bookstore with walls lined with various bottles and rows of labels from the world over. Vin’tij is the perfect venue for a celebration. It's a market, bar and bistro offering lunch and dinner by Chef John Jacob, a New York Restaurant School graduate who has 26 years experience cooking coast to coast. The mouth-watering menu features beginnings of olive oil, roast garlic and shaved Asiago with a basket of bread to entrees of Mango Roast Atlantic Salmon and desserts of sautéed strawberries and lemon pound cake. Vin'tij is open 7 days a week, 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Wine World at WaterColor is located right on Scenic 30A across from Watercolor Inn, making it super convenient even for those just passing through. Wine World has outdoor seating beneath the palms and wrapped in the quaintness of WaterColor. Wine World is about education. They say that wine tastings and wine classes in a friendly and informal atmosphere foster their principle of “education without intimidation”. Serving lunch and dinner the menu ranges from cheese plates to fire roasted brick oven pizzas, a wine bar filet to Parmesan crusted grouper. As a full service store they also offer a fine selection cigars. Wine World offers Wine Tastings every Friday 5 - 7 p.m. Regular hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. every day.
Now you have our SoWal List of some of our favorite wine bars and all they offer. There is no wrong choice here. Actually, don't bother choosing. Try them all! Also check out the SoWal Dining Guide and the SoWal Dining Forum for even more insiders’ picks.