Wine and Walnuts

A blog about eating, drinking, cooking and reading in the not so Deep South

So Much Wine, So Little Time: The Fortunate Glass, Downtown Wilmington


TFG Menu & Logo

Hey Wilmingtonians, remember when Chelsea’s, that adorable little wine bar, was on the corner of Front and Market Streets?  I sure do.

It was the most charming place.  Great wine list.  Awesome  people watching downtown from your comfortable perch inside, as you sipped your glass of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc, or what have you.  Good appetizers and small plates that were very affordable. Wine lovers loved it, because unlike other places in town, they had a deep and varied wines-by-the-glass list, in addition to many bottle selections. (You can tell how much love a bar/restaurant owner has for all things wine when this is the case.)

Then it went away, and it was a sad day for Wilmington wine lovers.  It would be a stretch to say I was bereft and inconsolable, but it was almost that bad. (Ask my friends how much I whined about it, they’ll tell you!)

Since then, I wondered and wondered when something similar might come along to take its place.

Now finally, it has — a place I can love as much as Chelsea’s:  The Fortunate Glass.  In fact, one of the former owners of Chelsea’s is also a major player in this venture. I knew that before it opened, so I had big expectations and high hopes for the wine list.

And let’s just say, I’m not disappointed.

TFG Interior

There are roughly 300 bottles to choose from, and about 30 wines by the glass. This is a big deal.  30 wines by the glass?  You most definitely will find something in your price range and in your preferred flavor profile to love by the glass in a list that deep. And if it’s a bottle you want, all the better.

Bottle prices range from $15 – $950 (2005 and 2006 Harlan Estate Meritage, in case you were wondering!), and the by-the-glass prices are very reasonable.  Sure, you can drop what you might normally spend for an inexpensive bottle in the grocery store on one glass here, but you’re not going to find these selections in your local Harriss Teeter. And there are plenty of excellent by-the-glass choices in the $7-$10 range.

What I also loved: there were 7 bubblies by the glass on the night I was there, and 3 or 4 Rosés by the glass – this is something you just don’t find that often.  There may be two or three bubblies in the smaller format, and usually one Rosé selection by the glass, if you’re lucky.

Another great thing:  the owners here know their wine, and they’ll gladly share their knowledge and expertise with you in a friendly, low-key way.  My friend and I wanted a bottle of red in the $30 range, and we were thinking Pinot Noir.  Which if you drink Pinot Noir, especially out in a restaurant, you know isn’t easy to find at that price.

But Celeste Glass, one of the owners, suggested the 2008 Carneros Annabella Pinot Noir from the Michael Pozzan Winery.  It was an excellent suggestion, and well within our price range at just under $30.  It was lovely and fragrant and flat out delicious. Great suggestion, Celeste!

And not to worry if you’re a beer drinker – The Fortunate Glass also has 18 bottled beers and four beers on tap.

There is a menu, which on the night we were there had selected cheeses and meats, and a panini of the day, but the plan is to expand the menu offerings at some point.

Seriously, if you’re as much a wine geek as I am, or if you simply want to have a fantastic glass of wine in a lovely setting, with the added bonus of great people watching on Front Street, you must check out The Fortunate Glass.

29 S Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Telephone: (910) 399-4292

Tuesday–Thursday:  4:00 pm—midnight
Friday –Sunday:  noon—2:00 am
Closed Mondays

Read Liz Biro’s piece on The Fortunate Glass here.

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About The Author

Kimberly Houston


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