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That's What She Said: A Wino's Tips to Getting a Drink in SLC

Published for Now Salt Lake on September 15th 2011

This week’s theme is drinking in SLC. As a SLC resident and an EXPERT on drinking, I feel a duty to contribute. OK, that’s not entirely true. I’m allergic to beer and outside of vodka tonics, I rarely drink mixed drinks.

I guess that makes me a local wino. My contribution will be a guide to SLC’s wine bars. Except I don’t frequent wine bars. I’m a wino who enjoys dive bars, the seedier the better. However, seedy bars don’t typically serve wine. And the few that do, well, the wine isn’t exactly good. I’m not a wine snob, but even I don’t like my wine to taste like vinegar. With that said, here are my favorite bars that serve non-vinegary wine:

The Spot is my happy place. That sounds like such a euphemism, but I promise you this spot is almost as good as THAT spot. All wine is served chilled, which is a little odd, but I find that endearing. The heavy pour is another endearing quality, as well as the female bartender who calls me sweetie.

The Sugarhouse VFW is another favorite of mine. I’ve written about the bar before and likely will again. Ben, the bartender, is the most comical and friendly bartender in SLC. I get funny looks from fellow patrons when I order a box of wine and straw. Of course I only get a glass, but it’s worth a try. I have faith that one day Ben will come through and honor my request.

When I’m not feeling the dive-bar scene, here are my favorite restaurants to grab drinks at:Desert Edge Pub is my home away from home. I’ve been frequenting this restaurant as long as I can remember. I’m almost positive the wine selection is from a box, but it doesn’t bother me one little bit. As long as my wine is red and doesn’t taste like vinegar I’m happy.

Wine at the Frida Bistro is excellent. My friend Scott Cunningham introduced me to their wine list and since he’s a wine broker I trust every recommendation he makes, even if he does discourage my Yellow Tail addiction.

Gracie’s is a perfect spot for happy hour and dinner, with one exception. I leave the minute I see an Ed Hardy or Affliction shirt. I’m allergic to rhinestone-wearing douchebags. This crowd typically arrives in the 9 to 10 p.m. hour. Leave immediately, unless you’re the one wearing above-mentioned “designers” in which case you should also leave immediately and head straight to Banana Republic.

I’m saving the best for last. My all-time favorite watering hole is my house, more specifically, my couch. Most nights you can find me there with a glass of Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon … sans pants. For me, home is the best (and safest) bar of all.

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