Date Night – Birmingham, AL

On Tuesday 9/4/18, Brittani and I went on a date night.

We started off at Freddys Wine Bar on Highlands Ave.  Freddy’s is an upscale venue. It’s not your neighborhood dive bar. There were several groups of ladies sitting on the patio and just enjoying the weather and drinks together. It’s a perfect venue for getting together with friends for wine. Their staple menu item is a pre-selected charcuterie board.  Happy hour runs until 6:00 pm and consists of $2 off of wine from a selected country of their choice.  Tuesday is France and I learned that Italy is on Mondays.

Brittani had a Blood Orange Spritz and I ordered a glass of Château Grand Français Grande Cuvée 2015.  This is outside of my comfort zone, being both from France and aged in oak barrels.  Brittani’s drink was refreshing and mine was pleasantly sweet with bright, fruit flavors.  We ordered ribs and a cheesecake.  The ribs were good, but not great, and the cheesecake was a bust since it was so dry.  The real treat at Freddy’s was the knowledge of the servers.  They did not skip a beat in making a recommendation based off of my preference of Chianti and they immediately knew how each wine was aged.

Next, we went to The Collins Bar in the heart of downtown Birmingham.  They are known as the preeminent cocktail bar in the city.  Brittani had a custom rum and fruit based cocktail.  I ordered Westland American Oak Single Malt Whisky neat.  I cannot describe to you how refreshing I find it to be served whisky in a Glencairn glass.  Unfortunately, this particular whisky was a complete bust.  It opened with a strong bitter chocolate taste and moved to pepper and spice.  It was quite unexpected and I did not taste any malt.  As a whisky,  I do not recommend it, but the flavor profile does open some opportunities to be used as the base of a cocktail.

Date night ended at Grille 29.  We had a nice filet.  Brittani had a glass of white wine and I was treated to an Old Fashioned made with Bulleit Rye, walnut and Regans orange bitters.  This is almost exactly my house drink.  Sorry, there are no pictures.

Prices:
Freddys Blood Orange Spritz: $7
Freddys Grande Cuvée: $15 – $2 for happy hour (Bottle price is $23 online)
Collins rum cocktail: $11
Collins Westland American Oak: $14 (Bottle price is $77 online)
Grill 29 Old Fashioned: $12