Wine Time

Vinology, a New Wine Bar and Wine Shop, Now Open in West University

The ever-evolving Houston wine scene continues to expand with the addition of Vinology, a wine bar and retail shop that opened its doors last week in West University (Bissonnet at Greenbriar).

The brainchild of Patrick McCray, chef/owner at Divino on Alabama, and Thomas Moësse, Divino's wine director, Vinology represents uncharted ground for Houston wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs: For the first time in the city's history, wine lovers will be able to taste, nosh and purchase wines to take home under the same roof. For the first time in the city's history, wine lovers will be able to nosh as they taste and browse such a highly curated selection of fine, esoteric, and rare wines under the same roof. Although some Houston wine bars and restaurants do offer retail sales to guests (in some cases bending the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission), the city has never had a bona fide wine bar and retail outlet like this.

Currently, Moësse plans to offer more than 300 labels to guests, with a more limited selection of wines by-the-glass and by-the-bottle. And while he is well-known among Houstonian wine cognoscenti as one of the city's leading experts in the wines of Italy, he intends to make Vinology one of Houston's top destinations for the wines of France.

"I'm determined to have the best Loire Valley list in the city," said Moësse when a reporter for the Houston Press visited the newly opened space. He was referring to the largest stretch of farmland in France, a region that spans scores of wine appellations, including Muscadet, Savennières, Anjou, Vouvray and Saumur, among many others. Not only is the Loire Valley one of the historic epicenters of the Natural wine movement, it's also home to producers of nearly every category of wine, from classic-method sparkling wines to macerated white wines and dessert wines and everything in between.

It's an ambitious opening volley for this modern but warm space, where McCray, an accomplished Italian chef who speaks Italian fluently, will also be serving classic and mostly Italian-inspired small plates.

Moësse plans to hold regular tastings with visiting winemakers and winery representatives. An Italian producer from the Marches (a region in central Italy on the Adriatic coast) and his Houston-based importer were pouring wines for a small crowd on one of the first nights that the space was open to the public last week.

Vinology's website is still under construction but according to its Facebook, it's open every day but Sunday; until 7 p.m. on Monday; until 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 832-849-1687.
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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen