Central Phoenix (or "CenPho," as its known to locals) has never been so busy. This once sleepy stretch of midtown Phoenix is looking a lot more like a grown-up city these days. The sidewalks along busy Central Avenue are crowded with shops, cafes and a handful of new nightlife spots.
Case in point: Central Wine, a new wine bar that boasts an excellent selection of Arizona and California wines. The wine bar just opened its doors this spring, but the stylish venue is already attracting a steady flow of wine lovers.
The bar has an upscale vibe, with tin ceiling panels, plush seating and sparkling chandeliers. But the bar manages to be both elegant and unpretentious. The knowledgeable bar staff offers thoughtful drink suggestions, and the intimate space is built for post-happy-hour mingling.
The spot also has a great location: the Metro Light Rail is a short walk from the front door, making it easily accessible for visitors staying in central or downtown Phoenix.
Central Wine Bar is the latest bar to open in Central Phoenix — Photo courtesy of Central Wine
Along with Arizona and California varietals, Central Wine also features a rotating list of international bottles. But the emphasis is on California wines.
Bar owner Jenna Rousseau spent some time working in Italy and San Francisco wineries and has made connections with several California wineries. That means Central Wine Bar will stock several California wines that are currently not available elsewhere in Arizona.
On any given night, the bar has six wines and four beers on tap. Guests can nibble on a small selection of appetizers while enjoying a glass. Currently, the bar kitchen offers cheese, sausage and fruit plates. The wine bar is also a small retail outlet, so you can take home that new favorite bottle. Guests can also purchase a bottle and drink it on site, with a corkage fee of $5.
Aside from buying wine by the glass or bottle, guests also have the option of purchasing their favorite by the case, with no additional charge for shipping.
Currently, Central Wine hosts several weekly events designed for both casual and serious oenophiles. The most popular weekly event is the $15 wine flight special on Thursday nights. It's a budget-friendly way to sample several top bottles without breaking the bank.
And on Wednesdays, guest can enjoy one wine flight and get a second one for 50 percent off. On Tuesdays, anybody who arrives at the bar on bicycle receives one dollar off any glass of wine. The venue also hosts complimentary wine tastings on occasion.