10 December, 2013

Bodovino - Best New Wine Bar in Boise

Bodovino just opened in downtown Boise, giving locals a spectacular new place to discover wine and the rest of us, a reason to visit.  Boise's downtown has many lovely Romanesque stone buildings.  Bodovino is tucked into a brick faced storefront that curls inside into an interesting cave like set up for the carefully selected and presented by the ounce wine dispensing system.  Where the magic happens is the great ambiance, the wonderful selections and the dedication of the staff to providing thoughtfully casual service.

The philosophy is that Bodovino should present choices so that a person can create a self guided discovery of wine.  Trevor, the on site Somm, uses his experience to pick wonderful wines that range  from small local Idaho producers through the "Trophy wall", which he uses to showcase world class wines like Tignanello and Opus One.  This sets visitors up for whatever experience they feel like on a given day.

On my visits, I had a Lemberger from Kiona (Washington State) , a Syrah from Koenig (from local Snake
River Valley, ID) a Vieux Telegraph (CDP), Velvet Glove, Opus One, Rose form Argentina, Ken Forester Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley, JJ Prum Riesling, White Bordeaux---I was basically like a kid in a candy store going from bottle to bottle at whim and getting to discover new delights as well as check in with old favorites.  The experience blossomed exponentially as I sampled selections made by the friends I was with and we were able to try things each other liked.

We spent a ton of time by the Trophy case where they present some of the world's finest wines available by the 2 oz, 4 oz or 6 oz pour. The prices ranged from $1.25 to $75.

The staff struck a great balance of being eager to answer questions or help, with respectful letting customers move through their space at each customer's own pace.  It's more fun than a static wine bar, where you park and are served in that you can walk around, and the space encourages you to share your discoveries with fellow patrons.  So you meet and talk a lot more than in a standard wine bar.

Trevor selects different wines so you can open up the spectrum of your wine experience.  It's a low risk way to find new favorites.   You can try wines of the world, and buy more of what you like.  He has Seasonal reds and Whites that change and include fun local offerings like Vale Riesling.  He also works with local producers like Split Rail, to help customers find delightful local wines.  I looked like a genius at dinner plucking the Split Rail Syrah off the wine list and delighting my dinner companions with a local producer they had never heard of.  Of course Trevor had sampled me with a Rose of Petit Verdot that knocked my socks off.  So it was a low risk way for me to look super smart.

As well, it was a great way to try some expensive wines to see if they were "all that" (they were!)

Trevor also chooses some nice local beer selections and has a great wine on tap program.

Bodovino invested in a wine preservation system that uses argon gas to preserve each bottle perfectly and independently.  The design is sleek and easy to use as it was beautiful.  They have a private events room that hold 35 people comfortably and looks like it would be wonderful for customer events and small meetings.

All in all , a great experience.  The only thing I could wish for is that they would open a branch closer to me!But now we all have a reason to visit Boise!  Many thanks to Mandy who recognized passionate wineaux and let us crash the soft openings.  I hope to revisit someday!

404 South 8th Street
Boise, ID
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