More Bottles Than Plates at Plate & Bottle

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The google results suggest that Rice Village's Plate & Bottle offers patrons "Boutique Wine & Gourmet Food."

That's about half right.

And on its website, Plate & Bottle posits itself as "dedicated to increasing accessibility to fine wines, and craft beers."

That's also about half right.

Decorated in an aesthetically pleasing vintage style, with weathered display cabinets, dark hues, and a baby grande piano, Plate & Bottle seems to designed to replicate your own living room--or rather the living room you wish you had--in order to encourage patrons to relax and browse. And that's easy to do especially, on lazy Saturday afternoons when the friendly employees host tastings (and will even offer to start the pouring a bit early if you like).

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However, if you're more interested in shopping rather than sipping, the "problem" with Plate & Bottle is that there's, well, there's some bottles and even fewer plates. The owners have indeed assembled a collection of reasonably priced, moderately hard-to-find varietals, but in the case in craft beer, their curation has been a wee bit too careful. On two different visits, fewer than five varieties of beer were displayed and of those only a few bottles, making the shop seem more museum than a market.

So, fine, go for the wine (especially their kick-ass collection of whites) not the beer.

The "plate" component of the title as well as the search engine tagline (which P&B may not be able to control) suggests at least to this writer the ready availability of non-liquid foodstuffs for purchase. Not exactly. Plate & Bottle offers gift baskets and boxes made-to-order that do include goodies such as chocolate, crackers, and cheese but those respective items per se are for sale at the shop. Again, a bit confusing as well as disappointing if you're looking for a one-stop shop for snacks and vino.

If you would like to get some cheese with your w(h)ine, then attend one of the shop's very special tasting events, especially those that feature winemakers and their products from various areas of the country.

One final reason to visit, in addition to shopping a bit and sipping a bunch? And in-store, old-fashioned wooden swing.

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