Back Inn Cafe - Chattanooga, TN
What can I say about the Back Inn Café at the Bluff View Arts District? It has the best sunset view in Chattanooga, the food is delicious, the staff is wonderful, and I love the patio dining on the Bluff. I haven't eaten there in a while for regular dinner though. The reason, I LOVE their wine tastings.
Held the third Thursday of almost every month, these tastings are a terrific value. Usually, you sample 6-8 wines and accompanying them is a plate of chef's samples. This may include a small bite of beef, some fish or chicken, a variety of cheeses, and fruit. At one tasting a few years back, we were even served Sauvignon Blanc popsicles. Too fun! All of it is designed to bring out the flavors of the wine that Michael, your host and the Bluff's sommelier, has chosen. Michael's discussions of the wine are bright and lively. He can get into esoteric details if you ask the questions, but he keeps the mood elevated. To help you in our discovery, he passes out a nifty tasting sheet that he developed when he was in sommelier school. This sheet with its check off and yes/no format guides you through things like color, viscosity, smell and then taste.
All of this is to be had for $30 plus tax and tip. It's hard to have a 2 hour activity with food and drink for that price! We love going with friends or as a date night. Lots of single folks show up too in an effort to learn more and meet people with similar interests. That's what I did when I first moved to the area!
To give you an idea of the wines served at a Back Inn Café tasting, this is what we had at a recent white wine class. The class was designed to point out some spectacular offerings, and some maybe not so great but they were chosen to give contrast. As usual, Michael had one or two show stoppers. Sometimes he even will pull a bottle out of his collection if it fits the theme!
A few examples....
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Reisling from Washington State
- Raimat 2008 Albariño (loved this with a mango cilantro salsa)
- Bertani Velante Pino Grigio
- Steele Writer's Block (nice with the Caprese salad)
- Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc
- Miracle One Chardonnay (local Chatt guys go to Cali and make amazing wine... and I usually don't like a Chardonnay!!!)
To find out when the Back Inn is having a tasting or other events in the area are occurring, sign up for emails at localwineevents.com.