Wine bar offers music, fun
Nicholas Sparling, Reporter
May 2, 2012
Filed under Features
One of Bakersfield’s few wine bars has changed ownership and is undergoing many changes. Wine Me Up, which is located on Coffee Road, is much more than just a wine store.
You can bring in food from your favorite restaurant and Wine Me Up owner Lisa Spezziale will pair it with a wine to accompany your meal.
“We don’t have a full kitchen so we can’t cook here,” said Spezziale. “So if somebody wants to bring in food that’s just fine.”
The store location has been there for five years but it has only been under its current ownership since Jan. 19. According to Spezziale, since then “business has been phenomenal.”
At Wine Me Up, unlike at a grocery store, you don’t have to blindly buy a wine that you have never tried.
“You can buy a bottle at retail price and take it home or you can buy a bottle and drink it [here], or you can do tasting and if you like it you can buy it,” said Spezziale.
“You can do the two-ounce or the five-ounce sampling, or you can try a flight where you can get five one-ounce pours so you get to try five different wines then choose from that and decide if you want to get a bottle so you’re not getting a full glass, you’re just getting a little bit to taste and see if you like it or not.”
Since Wine Me Up has been under new ownership, a lot has changed.
“We completely changed the place when we bought it,” said Spezziale. “We painted, we got new furniture, we put the dry bar in, plus we added shuffleboard and the TVs.”
They also offer live music every Friday and Saturday night, usually two-piece bands that play somewhat jazzy music.
Wine Me Up also has wine tasting on Wednesday nights where they try to have a wine maker showcase their wine two to three Wednesday’s of the month. The wine maker will usually showcase five to six wines and have a chance to talk about them.
“Then you get a chance that night to purchase the wine at a discount price but you have to purchase it that night for the discount,” said Spezziale.
Even if you don’t buy the wine that night, it will be featured for purchase later, only not at the discounted rate.
On the Wednesday of the month that they don’t have wine tasting, they will showcase a movie.
“No romantic movies. We don’t want everyone in here crying,” said Spezziale. “Its mostly funny older movies.”
Recently they showed Caddyshack.
More than just wine, they also serve bottles of beer.
“We’re trying to do more specialty beers but we do have beers like Budweiser and Bud Light and Coors,” said Spezziale. “A lot of guys want to come in and don’t want to have a glass of wine but their wife or girlfriend does, so it gives them an opportunity to try new beers or they could have their old favorite.”
In order to keep their selection fresh, Wine Me Up is constantly switching out the wines that they carry.
“We try and rotate different types of wines all the time,” said Spezziale. “We don’t want to have your average grocery store wine. We want people to experience all different types of wine that they can’t find anywhere else.”
Spezziale has years of experience in the wine industry, working for three years as a wine representative and also owning restaurants and nightclubs.
“I’ve been on both sides, as the person selling to restaurants and the person selling to the customer.”
By constantly rotating in new wines from different wine makers, Wine Me Up has the potential to offer a new experience each time.
“I’m learning also. I’m learning all new wines for my palate and for everyone else’s palate. We just want to keep bringing in new stuff,” said Spezziale.