The Best Kept Wine Secret in Dallas

I’m hoping that I’m not going to regret this post.  I came upon one of Dallas’ best kept wine secrets in November and I’m going to share it with you today.  First, let me give you some background.  Since I launched this blog in February, I’ve been lucky enough to connect with a small group of foodie, travel and wine writers.  Our modus operandi is to meet monthly bearing wine from our cellars or wines we have been sent to review and enjoy a good meal.  We often convene at a BYOB place, usually one that is pretty casual with good food, but little to no ”scene”.

That’s how I found myself on a Wednesday night at Urbano Cafe in East Dallas.  I’ve been there once before and enjoyed a delightful gourmet meal and was happily surprised that a place with such good food was BYOB.  But this particular dinner I discovered that there is something special that happens at Urbano Café’ on Wednesday nights.  You could tell that the place was full of regulars and the bottles on the table were plentiful.  We were catching up on my friend’s trips to exotic places and for once, I had stories to add about our time in Punta Mita, Mexico.  Then it happened –  Mitch, owner and host extraordinaire, came bearing a magnum of older Brunello that he had picked up at a discount next door at Jimmy’s Food Store (the best place to find Italian wine if you haven’t stumbled upon them yet and a fun place to grab a sandwich for lunch or dinner – see if you can find the back dining room). 

This set off a chain reaction.  Friends (after some time spent in close contact with your dining neighbors where you are all drinking wine friendship happens) started sharing the pride and joy brought from their cellars with others.  You could hear the chorus of “Here try this …” and then the story behind it.  Or “what do you think of this beauty?  We got the last two cases left in Dallas.”  It was an experience I had never had outside of wine country.  Paired with a great meal and Mitch’s hospitality, it was magical and totally represented what the experience of wine should be – sharing bottles of favorites with people who have an appreciation for the grape.  (Note: do not expect to arrive with a $10 bottle of grocery store wine and have the same experience).

I reluctantly left that night with many wines untried that I was offered, but knowing that I needed to drive home and work out early the next morning made me responsible.  I’m looking forward to the next Wednesday outing and am already trying to figure out which bottles to bring.