Pour a Glass at Amuse

It’s Wine Down Wednesday, and you know what that means…A toast to getting halfway through the week with a nice glass of some pinot noir or merlot or both. But if you’re on vacation, then everyday in the island should be wrapped up with some wine. You’ll find wine on almost any restaurant’s menu; at the Amuse Wine Bar, you’ll find something a little different – a self-served wine cellar.

Wine on tap at Amuse Wine Bar.

The cellar has 80 different bottles from which to choose. They’re dispensed out of unique circular kiosks and allow customers to regulate their pours. All that’s needed is an Amuse Wine card. Here’s a few they’ve listed on their website: Cabernet (Martin Ray ‘09, Zolo ‘08, Silver Oak ‘05); Merlot (Sterling ‘08, Hedges ‘08, Buccella ‘08) and Pinot Noir (Belle Glos ‘05, Martin Ray ‘09, Soujourn ‘09). If you’re not a wine expert (like me), then it’s always fun to sample a little of each.

The wine bar is a part of the Honolulu Design Center, a few blocks from Ala Moana Shopping Center. Customers must weave through living room and bedroom displays before going upstairs to the bar and restaurant. The dim lighting, live music and chill ambiance create the perfect vibe for winding down. It can get pretty crowded as it closer to dinner. The bar’s right outside of the Design Center’s Stage restaurant, so there will be people walking in and out of the tables at the wine bar.

In general, Amuse and Stage are generally more upscale. If you’re looking for deals, then it’s best to come on Mondays and Wednesdays. You can get $50 worth of wine for $30. Happy hour happens every day from 5 to 7 p.m., and each appetizer cost $5. My friends and I got a lot of food for less than $40. I’d recommend trying the thin-crust sausage/pepperoni/mushroom pizza and barbecue fries. A lot of people like their grilled cheese, believe it or not, because they use fancy truffle cheese. But if you’re going for the classic wine and cheese combo, then they have that to. They also have special beer tap tables, which allow customers to pour draft beers from its two different kegs.

Get a good deal on Mondays or Wednesdays. Pay $30 for $50 of wine.

AMUSE WINE BAR • Honolulu Design Center 1250 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96814 • Opens Mon-Sat 5-10pm • 808-237-5428 • Free validated parking in structure; near bus route

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