Barhopper: Veritas Wine Bar at Alexander Park
05:00 AM, Jul 25, 2013
Veritas Wine Bar at Alexander Park
Address: 217 Alexander St.
Hours: 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Price range: $6 to $15 for a glass of wine (prices subject to change); $3.25 to $7.75 for a half glass. Beer and cider available.
facebook.com/VeritasRochester, veritaswinebar.com or (585) 262-2336.
The music won’t be loud, but it will be party time on Saturday at Veritas Wine Bar at Alexander Park.
Veritas is celebrating one year of serving wines, familiar and unfamiliar, to customers.
“One of the things that I have been pleasantly surprised by is how excited people are to try new things,” says Veritas co-owner Amy Powers, reflecting on year one. “They don’t want to come in here and necessarily have exactly what they buy in the store. It’s been nice to see people get so excited about learning about wine.”
Amy and Paul Powers opened Veritas the bar’s name was lifted from Latin phrase in vino veritas, which roughly translated is “in wine there is truth” with a goal of educating customers about wine.
Their love of wine and dream of opening a wine bar began about 10 years ago when the couple lived in New York City and began learning more about food and wine themselves.
After moving back to Rochester and working part-time at Wine Sense on Park Avenue, the couple learned even more about wine and finally decided the time was right to make their dream a reality.
Step inside Veritas and you’ll see bright gray walls with white trim in the main bar area, which also has a few small tables. You’ll hear music that’s played a tad softer than a normal speaking voice.
“We wanted a place where people can talk,” Paul says. “We never have the music too loud. We definitely have a more mature clientele here, and that was our target. We wanted people who were professionals, grad students. We get everybody from Moscato drinkers to people who drink really high-end Napa cab.”
“We just wanted it to be a nice relaxed atmosphere for people to be with their friends or alone,” adds Amy Powers. “We have people that hang out here alone that are comfortable chatting with us or reading in the corner.”
The feel of Veritas is intimate. A sitting room with a door can be closed for, say, a book club meeting, and a porch evokes someone’s private home instead of a business.
The wine list is far from quaint; Veritas boats in wines from France, Spain, South Africa, Chile, California and other far-flung areas.
Veritas rotates wine on the menu every week or two, says Paul, ensuring that new wines are available to try.
This Saturday, patrons can stop in between 5 and 11 p.m. for complimentary wine tastings. On any given night, Veritas offers half glasses of wine so people can try different things. And once a month, Veritas offers a wine education class.
“Our focus from the beginning has been education,” says Amy. “We want people to learn and want them no longer (to feel) intimidated about wine, but to be comfortable coming in here and asking for a sample of something.”