Quickly and quietly, Flight Wine Bar opened earlier this month, joining the list of upscale Rochester nightlife spots. Passersby may miss the new establishment at first glance. Flight is tucked into a cozy nook in Corn Hill Landing, conveniently and coincidentally next to an unaffiliated wine shop, and complemented by the dinner options at neighboring restaurants Siam, Virtu, and Tony D’s. Co-owned by David Verno, his wife, Tasia, and his father, Dave, Flight’s triumvirate reflects a running theme of threes throughout the establishment. The definition of a wine “flight” is a selection of wines (three, in this case) for the purpose of sampling, sharing, and experiencing.
The word “flight” also brings about another connotation, the reference to travel and the discovery of unique geographic regions. Flight was inspired by David and Tasia’s trips throughout Europe, as well as continental wine hotspots like California and New York. For them, Flight combines their passions for both wine and worldly experiences. “We’re educating ourselves while educating our customers,” says Tasia.
For those of you who, like me, know little about wine other than the color, a flight may be just the thing to start off with. Flights cost between $12 and $17, and come in a variety of themes and tastes. You can feel good about ordering the “Go Green” flight, a sampling of wines from eco-friendly vineyards. Or try the “Uncork New York” flight, comprised of wines from our own backyard. If you’re already sure of what you like, you may order by the glass or bottle. The menu lists enough wines to warrant a few return trips without being overwhelming, and a chalkboard adjacent to the entrance lists regularly rotating specials.
Flight also offers a variety of beers, including popular imports like Red Stripe and Guinness, as well as specialties like Peroni, a pale lager from Italy, and Germany’s Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. Holland’s non-alcoholic Buckler is offered, as well as sodas for the teetotaler set.
Local fare plays an important role in the Flight experience. Each glass of wine is presented with a serving of olives from the Public Market. Flight also works with Hedonist Artisan Chocolates and the Little Bakery to provide chocolates and bread, respectively.
The food menu is carefully crafted to complement the various wine options. The charcuterie flight presents prosciutto, salami, and sopressata. An olive oil Flight showcases oils from Portugal, Italy, and Greece, and a cheese flight can be mixed and matched from a list of nine varieties.
In spite of the uniquely L-shaped space Flight occupies, the owners have made the most of it with a custom-made wooden wine rack that holding approximately 1000 bottles. Patrons may take a seat along the bar, grab a table, or enjoy the increasingly nice weather on the patio.
A color scheme of mellow earth tones brings the space together, paired with low light and the faint sounds of jazz. On a recent evening, the place was abuzz with activity for a venue that had been open for less than a week. The clientele was a mix of Rochesterians from across the board, attesting to the owners’ claims that “wine is for every age.”