This past week, I stopped into FLOW From the Garden for their Wine Wednesday Dinner. The spot caught my eye as I was walking by in early February and saw that something was ready to open, so I was happy to finally be able to check it out.
The wine class requires a reservation, and starts promptly at 7pm. Guests are asked to show up a bit early so they can get everyone’s dinner order in and start on time: a reasonable request. I got there at 6:45ish and there was a handful of people already there drinking a glass of wine before the class and chatting. I really like the idea of the long table, which seats about half of the 20 possible seats. There’s people who will want to use an outing like this as a date, but it’s also really fun to meet new friends and this atmosphere is a perfect place to do so.
I am admittedly not “into wine” and going into this I was definitely a bit intimidated. Once things get rolling, the owners, Kristen Williams and Allan Von Schenkel, guide you through a handful of wines, ranging from dark red to bright white. Allan makes it a point not to mention brands, but instead, he focuses on the age and country of origin so those in the class can learn the types of wines they like, not what brand to follow blindly. I’ve come to find out it’s the casual wine drinkers are the ones that will benefit the most from taking the class.
In the class, you will learn a lot. An example is the way the “legs” on the side of the wine glass form is correlated to alcohol content. There’s a lot more variant-specific facts they’ll guide you through that will help you learn what kind of wine you like, which is great for a casual wine drinker such as myself.
Once the wine tasting class is over, dinner comes out about an hour later at 8pm. The dinner menu is vegetarian and vegan friendly but also does have a meat option. Everyone who attends will have an option for dinner. Each week is a different theme, and the theme when I visited was American Frontier. Without specifically describing exactly what I ate, all I’ll say is that it was incredibly good. The portions aren’t enormous but are more in line with what we should be eating for dinner. I don’t recommend showing up absolutely starving since you won’t be able to properly enjoy the meal. Also, the chef brought out a little side of their hummus for me since I got the vegan dinner, and it was without question the best hummus I’ve had in my life.
After dinner, you’re encouraged to linger and you can order a glass of wine from the selection you’ve just tried. Allen reminded me of which wine it was I liked and offered up a bit more knowledge regarding the varietal, which was much appreciated. My only critique for this entire operation is that I probably would have stayed a bit longer and had another glass of wine after dinner had the music been a bit louder and lights considerably lower. For the class portion of the night, the music should be low and lights bright, but it was bright during dinner and didn’t encourage me to stay. This is probably a fluke for the one time I visited and is an easily rectified almost non-issue.
It’s a bargain at $20 and an awesome way to get through the work week. I’d absolutely recommend this class/dinner combo to anyone who is even remotely interested in wine. Highly recommended.