Bars & Bottle Shops

Post Dinner Date-Date

…and the adventure continues…

It isn’t very often that Grayson and I want to go out after dinner.  We typically prefer to go home, get comfy in our jammies and binge-watch our favorite shows.  Not this night!

Don’t get too excited…we are not the wild, party animal types that I imagine are running through your mind.  But, occasionally we will stay out past our bedtimes.

Flashback to our dinner at Kornerstone Bistro.  Grayson knew where he wanted to go when he asked if I was ready to head home after dinner.  He just wanted to see if I was on the same page as him.  When he said the place…I was DEFINITELY on the same page!

We jumped in the truck and headed to a spot in downtown Wilmington called Palate Bottle Shop & Reserve.  This semi open-air bottle shop is truly one of my favorite places in town!  It is a very chill, laid-back bar that features a huge selection of beer and wine (check out the links to see their extensive lists).  During the cooler months of the year, I love to visit Palate because they have two outdoor fire pits.  They are pretty large and are surrounded by benches made out of palates.  Super cozy and welcoming!  In the warmer months, the fire pits are still set up, just not blazing.  Adjacent to the fire pit seating area is an uncovered outdoor area featuring a small stage that typically hosts local artists.

The inside of the shop is decorated also with distressed palates.  They line the walls, floor to ceiling, and are just stunning.  The distressing adds such a rustic element.  The bar itself is also made entirely of palates.  The back of the bar has a huge garage style roll up window that opens up to the fire pit area for ease of access.  On the back wall is a large, palate framed chalk board boasting the on-tap beer selections.  It really is beautiful.  Go check out their website if you don’t believe me.  Or better yet, give them a visit!

There were a good amount of people visiting Palate that night.  We didn’t get a seat next to the fire pit, but there are cozy areas that mimic them just minus the heat.  We ordered a glass of 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from The Originals.  We both tend to like Cabernet.  We were thrilled with our choice! The bartenders on staff are always great at recommending wine or beer and will let you sample depending on your request.

We sat outside and drank our wine. We talked and giggled  for about an hour(Grayson would say he “laughed”).  I just love hanging out with him.  He is my favorite person ever!  It is fun to share our week over a glass of wine, especially in such a fun place like this one!  It was the perfect dessert to our dinner!





Speaking of wine, we typically keep a few bottles on hand at home.  Currently in our wait que, we have a bottle of Petite Syrah from another local wine shop called Noni Bacca.  We sampled it in the shop and thought it was wonderful so we purchased a bottle!  This is a fun place, too!  Can you say wine tastings?!  Also, we almost always keep a bottle of Carnivor Cabernet.  Don’t turn your nose up you wine snobs out there…it is rated 90 points and named a best buy by Wine Enthusiast!  It’s yummy and won’t break the bank.


We like to drink reds at home when we are grilling meats.  We grill a lot of steak at home.  Just like a good steak knife is imperative when eating steak, so are the accessories you keep on hand when drinking wine.  I swear by two tools in particular.


First, a wine aerator.  For red wines in particular, it is important to let it breathe before consuming.  It isn’t necessary, but you really capture the full taste of the wine once aerated.  An aerator, speeds up the breathing process. We have a Vinturi.  One of my most favorite purchases!  There truly is a difference in the way your wine tastes after being cycled through the it. To better understand what the purpose of wine aeration is, check out this part of Vinturi’s website. I kid you not…an aerator is key!  If you are considering one like ours, you just hold the Vinturi with one hand over your glass and pour the wine directly into it.  It will filter the wine through it into your glass.  They make fancy ones that have holders to keep your hands free, but the style like ours works just as well.

Secondly, a Rabbit corkscrew makes getting into your wine so easy and effortless.  I don’t always have the best of luck with traditional corkscrews.  I actually broke a corkscrew off in a cork a few weeks ago and Grayson had to pry the cork out using pliers.  That being said, a Rabbit is a great investment!




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