Big crowds aren’t for everyone. Gone are the days when I yearn to be at a happy hour jam-packed with young professionals attempting to “connect and network.” (I use air quotes because 85 percent of the time real connections aren’t being made.) That social setting can be unsettling and even intimidating for some. In my thirties, I appreciate getting together 1-on-1 or in smaller groups where genuine conversation is the focus and wine is an added bonus.
So, if you’re looking for a lowkey place in the city to unwind and have a couple drinks, then you should check out the Vinoteca Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel. I recently discovered this hidden wine gem last month and couldn’t wait to tell you more about it.
Perception is NOT Always Reality
When I heard the Four Seasons Hotel had a wine bar, I was excited about the concept, but a little hesitant to check it out. I mean the Four Seasons is known for being super ritzy and expensive. Definitely out of my league. But one of things that made me to look past that is Vinoteca offers regular (Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m.) and reverse (Saturday, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.) menus throughout the week. So, don’t let cost or the prestigious name keep you from stopping by. My cousin and I decided to visit on a Saturday night for their reverse happy hour. Keep reading to learn more about Vinoteca’s happy hour deals.
Location, Location, Location
Vinoteca is located on the third floor inside of the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Houston. Make an immediate right once you exit the elevators and you will run right into the bar.
Ambiance is Key
The Four Seasons is known for being super posh and extravagent, so I was expecting nothing less at Vinoteca. We arrived shortly after 10 p.m. on a Saturday and the place wasn’t crowded at all. The bar area definitely had a lounge feel minus the half naked women walking around and men trolling for numbers. Vinoteca is very intimate with plenty of seating and tables for dining and lounging. Plus, I enjoyed the large windows that offered scenic views of Houston’s downtown office buildings.
On the night of my visit, my cousin and I grabbed a table near the DJ. Yes!! There was an actual DJ spinning hits by artist like Stevie Wonder, Houston’s favorite Beyoncé, Anthony Hamilton, and even Lil Kim. I was slightly confused. We’re we not at the Four Seasons Hotel?! Lol! Anyways, I loved it! The music added another cool vibe to the place. A little hip hop and soulful r & b tunes never hurt anybody! I loved that you could listen to good music in a chill environment. All the while, the Four Seasons still maintained its classy persona!
The crowd at Vinoteca was very diverse. I’d say you’d find anyone from the business traveler to women meeting for a ‘girls night out.’ Mathew Knowles happened to be there on the night we were there. So, it was cool to see the man who helped give life to Beyoncé. (By the way, he was super nice) Age wise, I’d say that most people were 40 and up. We were probably the youngest people in the bar.
According to their website, Vinoteca serves 25 wines. The wine list consists of champagne, sparking, white, rosè, red, dessert, and sweet wines from all over the world. There was literally something for everyone. Prices a glass (5 oz. pour) ranged from $11-28. Okay, I thought to myself…where is the happy hour menu? According to our server that was it….
A little (okay very) disappointed that these were their happy hour prices, I decided to make the best of the night. I refused to order Riesling again (which was the least expensive wine on the menu) after my airport wine bar experience, so I opted for the Prosecco.
The evening turned out to be one for the books. Fun times with my cousin, great music and conversation, a Mathew Knowles siting, and ah-mazing Prosecco!!
But wait for it…there’s more! When my bill came I was expecting to pay around $40-something for the drinks and appetizer I’d order. However…
Yes, there was a 50 percent discount off the ticket, which our waitress didn’t mention when we asked about the menu earlier. Oh happy day!!! Isn’t that a great deal??
So, like I said before….whether you live in Houston and plan to travel through…the Vinoteca Bar is a low-key, fun place to relax and have a sip on good quality wine without the hustle and bustle of the normal Houston super active social scene. I can’t wait to go back and try other wines on the menu, especially now that I know about this cool hook-up. Until next time…