If you are in the mood to try a wine made from an unfamiliar grape, the Allegheny Wine Mixer, a cozy new wine bar that just opened in Upper Lawrenceville, wants to pour you a glass.
According to owner Jamie Patton, part of the Wine Mixer's mission is to push customers beyond the boundaries of the well-known wine regions. "If you go to Spain, Italy, South America, you can find some great stuff," she says, adding that Portugal is also a rising star in the wine world. She says the Portuguese have been drinking great local wine for years; it's just that "they've been keeping it to themselves."
Since some of what she serves will be new to her patrons (though established California and French wines are also available), a bit of education is offered along with the vino. However, that education comes attitude-free. "We don't want to lord over everybody," she says.
Of course, if Patton wanted to lord, she certainly could: As a Level 2 sommelier, she's passed rigorous written and tasting examinations given by the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Allegheny Wine Mixer is able to keep its prices reasonable, because, according to Patton, the state generally keeps prices lower on obscure wines since they don't sell as quickly. There will be daily $5 specials, and most glasses will be in the $7-11 price range. Patton says she'll also keep a few higher-end bottles in reserve for customers looking to get a bit fancy.
If wine isn't your thing, Allegheny Wine Mixer pours craft beer, too. "I love wine," Patton says, "but I really love beer, too. I didn't see any reason not to have both." Local favorites Draai Laag and Full Pint are among the beers on tap, and there is also a selection of bottled beers.
Patton feels that the perception of wine bars as elitist or stuffy is something that needs to change, thus the Allegheny Wine Mixer is designed with having a good time in mind. "Wine is what peasants drink," she explains.
5326 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-252-2337