By day you would think coffee shop, but by night a wine bar. The new Take Five Cafe on 62 W. Cordoba, in Gastown offers both to their customers. I was invited to attend their grand opening this past week to see what they have to offer, and there is quite a range for you. As I mentioned there is the daytime crowd, so you can enjoy various sandwiches, muffins, and of course coffees made the way you prefer, from a simple espresso shot to chai latte to cappuccino.
I spoke with co-founder, Steve Punzo, about the cafe. He is very passionate about it, and told me how he tried all the items that you find on the menu, before putting it on the menu. He is proud of the antipasto plate ($12), where you can select 5 items from a selction of 5 different meats (salami and sausage), 5 different cheese, and 5 different antipasti (marinated vegetables).
I am also impressed with their wide selection of red and white wines by the glass. The wines are kept at the perfect temperature in a wine preservation system (WPS). The bottles are neatly lined up in the glass front of the WPS, for you to see as your glass is drawn for you from the bar. There are wines from around the world, as well as from here in BC. The wines that I sampled were:
Nk’mip Pinot Blanc, 2010, BC. Light lemon with a green tingle. It had a light nose with flowers, citrus and lime. Medium body, some acidity balanced with some roundness. Citrus and green apple flavours, which lead to tropical fruit on the finish. An OK, easy to sip wine.
- Mission Hill Chardonnay Reserve, 2010, BC. This is a step up in body and weight over the pinot blanc. Light tropical fruit and vanilla aromas. Medium body, soft mouthfeel with a lower acidity. Understated tropical fruit, peach, and vanilla on the palate. Soft finish on your palate. Very tasty.
- Penfolds Koonunga Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, Australia. This wine has a light chocolate and dark fruit nose. Medium body, dry with juicy black cherries, cassis, and vanilla. Medium minus tannins with a hint of cocoa on the finish. An easy to drink wine.
- Chianti Classico Reserva Melini La Selvanella, 2006, Italy. My favourite wine of the evening. Chiantis have a nice higher level of acidity that makes it go well with so many different foods. This evening in particular I enjoyed with the selection of salamis. The wine had a nice light red cherry and oak nose. Medium body, light mouthfeel, higher acidity, with red cherries and oak flavours. An elegant wine.
- Barolo Fontafredda Serralunga d’Alba, 2007, Italy. This wine came in a close second for favourite wine of the evening. Barolo, made from the Nebbiolo grape, needs time to mature and it’s characteristic strong tannins to soften, to reveal it’s range of aromas and flavours. I enjoyed the aromas of roses, cherries and oak. Medium body, very firm tannins. Nice red cherry flavour that floats on top of the tannins. There is also some oakiness to the wine and a hint of tea levels and some bitterness. Long legs in the glass, means this wine has fair alcoholic power behind it. Try with the antipasto platter.
Enjoy the food and drink pictures below, courtesy of Take Five Cafe. Cheers.