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First Sip: Stella's Wine Bar at The Post Oak

An early arrival on a Tuesday afternoon allowed for a quieter setting to enjoy wine with friends.

In the lobby at The Post Oak.

Uptown has become even more chic with the opening of
Stella’s Wine Bar at the The Post Oak Hotel. This new concept features a highly skilled staff serving up satiating sips in a contemporary setting along with a more rustic covered patio for relaxed imbibing. Upon entering the main entrance of the hotel, turn left and stroll to the end of the hallway in order to pass through the door that leads to this intimate wine lovers world.

Inside, there is a bar and a limited number of tables with room for around 30 people. The interior seats bask under the soft glow of the refrigerated display cases flush with wine and charcuterie, the space feels warm and inviting with classic dark wood tables and finishes. Outside, the patio has a casual vibe with a large olive tree poised to grow through the opening in the roof with comfortable seating that encourages lingering.

Jeffrey Young and Julie Dalton perfectly pair friendly knowledge with flawless service.

Now open for over a week, wine director and former
Iron Somm winner, Julie Dalton, reports that guests have been most eager to try the innovative flights of wine offered at Stella’s. In addition to more typical themes like bubbles or different wines from a single grape or region, Dalton features some special Houston themed flights that the oenophiles of our city are finding intriguing like the Rodeo Uncorked! Champions flight and the Iron Somm flight showcasing the winning selections from past Iron Somm Houston competitions with the high altitude Malbec selections made by Iron Somm Sean Beck in 2009 being currently showcased. Flights range from the $36 Bubblicious to the Napa Valley Blue Chips for $140. Guests can also test their skills with a Blind Tasting for $20. The menu has sixty wines by the glass offered at prices ranging from $9 to $72. While the menu shows the by-the-glass selection in 6 ounce pours, Jeffrey Young, formerly with Georgia James and also a former Iron Somm contestant, was working the floor on my visit, and shared that personalized flights of two ounce pours could be built from the listed wines, as well.

While the flights are the most popular way to drink, the build-your-own
charcuterie board is the favored way to eat. A large display in the bar area tempts with an array of cheese, prosciutto, salumi, etc, served in a choose your own format of 4, 6, or 8 items for $24, $34, or $43 respectively which will arrive plated with appealing accouterments and fresh bread. Other menu options include a small bites list offering items like hummus, Italian meatballs, and parmesan truffle fries as well as more substantial choices like sliders and flatbreads.

Unusual offerings like this 9 year old bottle of Langhe Freisa are on the wine list.

Keith Goldston MS helps guests navigate the list.
For those who prefer to linger over a special bottle, the full cellar that supports the various hotel property restaurants including top destinations,
Mastro’s Steakhouse, named one of the best in America by Gayot and ladies lunch favorite, Bloom & Bee, is also open to the patrons of Stella’a Wine Bar. The cellar holds over 30,000 bottles of wine featuring almost 4,000 different labels sourced from more than twenty countries. Guests will find rare and expensive vino treasure as well as more affordable wines made from quirky or lesser known grapes, there is something for every palate. The list is curated by Master Sommelier Keith Goldston along with the other Advanced Sommeliers on staff. Goldston was working the floor on the evening of my visit which is not typical for Master Sommeliers but is definitely not unheard of in Houston’s dynamic wine scene.

An extensive list of Champagne and sparkling will appeal to bubble lovers.

Stella’s Wine Bar is open from 4:00 - 10:00 p.m. on Sunday and Monday and from 4:00 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday through Saturday. Stella’s is situated on the lobby level of The Post Oak Hotel located at 1600 West Loop South. Reservations can be made by calling 346-227-5174.


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