I always appreciate tips from readers, and here's one that sounded great for summer: An "unusual and fun" spot in Redington Shores that's "like a neighborhood bar for wine and beer lovers."
Count me in.
It turned out to be a heck of a tip, because Redington Shores' Wine Knot is indeed all that tip promised, with a few more perks as a bonus.
I'm not a big beach person but I do enjoy a little of the touristy Florida vibe now and again. Wine Knot manages to roll in just enough of its beachside locale without treading too hard on a well-tread theme.
Wine Knot has all of the exterior flair you'd hope to find: wooden deck, various nautical accents, lots of tropical foliage. Inside, it's bright and sunny, with cool blues and muted greys on the floors and exposed rafters.
About two thirds of the interior are dedicated to the wine lounge, with a handful of high tops and some white sofas near the entrance. The other third is a gift boutique.
After settling in near one of the entrance side picture windows, I noticed a decent crowd for a Tuesday afternoon. Anyone can snag a handful of beach tourists on the weekends, but if you're filling tables on an ordinary weekday, then you're doing something right.
Indeed, the tipster had it right — this place feels like a neighborhood bar, only without the physical bar. Instead, you order food and drink at your table and it's brought to you. The beers all are in a cooler, and there's a small draft wine setup in the corner (six to choose from). It's all very laid back, which suits the beach environment.
Speaking of beer, I didn't expect a place called Wine Knot to do much heavy lifting in that department, but I was mistaken. There are more than 50 beers, ciders and malt beverages, with about as much variation as you'll find at a solid beer bar, let alone one focused on wine.
The beer menu could use a little proofreading and cleaning up (Pilsner Urquell, for example, has five spots on the menu, despite only producing one brand of beer), but there's not much to complain about with a well-stocked cooler of $5 brews from across the globe.
The wine list, on the other hand, is well organized and thorough, broken down by style and further classified by vintage, producer and region. The wines all are priced remarkably well, with most selections in the $30-40 price range per bottle.
Even better, all wines are available by the glass, and the glass price is simply a quarter of the bottle price (non-sparkling wines contain four servings per bottle). That's a pretty excellent feature. There are six draft wines, but if you find something you really like on the list and can't justify downing an entire bottle solo, then you won't be left out.
Wine Knot is a charming little spot, and I'm happy to have been directed to it. It's friendly, affordable and cozy, while also making good use of its beachy location in a way that works for both locals and tourists. That's my kind of place. If you're in Redington Shores and are in the market for beer or wine, be sure to check it out.
— Contact Justin Grant at email@example.com. Follow @WordsWithJG.
If you go: Wine Knot
17477 Gulf Boulevard Blvd., Redington Shores 33708 . (727) 256-2181. facebook.com/wineknotrs
The vibe: An upbeat wine bar and gift shop that doesn't lean too hard on its beachy locale.
Food: Tapas, $5.99-$13.99; desserts, $6.99.
Booze: Beer and wine. Beer, $2.99-$5.99; wine, $2.99-$42.99 by the glass and $12.99-$169.99 by the bottle.
Specialty: Although wine is in the name, Wine Knot also maintains a well above average beer list, boasting over 50 beers, ciders and malternatives — yes, they have Twisted Tea — to balance a menu of 200-odd wines of every variety and origin imaginable. Best of all, you can choose any wine by the glass, even the pricey ones!
Hours: 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.; Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; closed Mon..