There's a new wine bar in Covington just off the corner of Pike Street and Madison Avenue that's very much worth checking out. Ripple Wine Bar offers wine from around the world by way of wineCRAFT, a local importing distributing company.
Ripple's wine selection rotates, ensuring repeat visits rarely taste the same. Don't worry, though: if you enjoy a wine that's not in Ripple's Cruvinet the next time you go, the bar doesn't require you to buy a full bottle of something you've never tried. Both half glasses and half bottles make it easier (and cheaper) to discover other wines you might like.
That flexibility echoes Ripple's overarching goal of making wine approachable. The bar, owned and operated by Matt and Kathleen Haws, is casual in atmosphere while also remaining upscale enough to be a treat.
"It's more of an experience to come here," Matt says. "Wine is the ultimate craft. You can make beer and liquor in your basement, but wine is a delicate thing, and we have a ton of respect for it."
Their respect for wine is evident in two forms. First, Ripple's thoughtful execution is obvious. As briefly mentioned above, a 29-tap Cruvinet heads up the back of the bar. Within it are temperature-controlled bottles of wine guaranteed to produce the highest-quality pour possible every time a glass is served. You won't be served a room temperature glass of pinot noir at Ripple.
Second, Ripple's presentation is top-notch. As you walk in, a 16-seat bar and tiny food prep area greet you to your left. Upstairs, there's seating for 30 people along with a view down into the rest of the bar. Exposed brick and thick beams wedge their way into every line of sight, warmly lit by the many hanging bulbs above the bar on the first floor. Most of it is painted white, producing an almost coastal vibe.
Kathleen says customers have told her Ripple reminds them of places they've visited in Boston, Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Portland.
"I wonder if it's the ambiance created by the unique interior and the upbeat soundtrack, or the exposed kitchen with a seasonally driven food menu. Perhaps it’s simply the amount of wine to be explored from a list that is extensive, but not willfully obscure," she theorizes.
Whatever their reasons, Ripple looks (and tastes) wonderful.
And speaking of taste, what's a wine bar without a little meat and cheese on the side? Ripple has a menu that consists of not only a popular charcuterie board, but other fresh and simple items prepared by Chef Will Smith. Ripple hits up local vendors for all of it, too: Grateful Grahams for the fondue elements, Urban Stead for the cheddar cheese, Creation Gardens for produce, and others.
Though meat and cheese are best-sellers, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options aren't omitted. Again, Ripple wants to be approachable; that means to everyone on any diet.
“Adding an approachable wine bar to the neighborhood gives residents and visitors another reason to drink and dine in Kentucky," says Kathleen. "We are excited to bring something new and different to Downtown Covington. You’re guaranteed an experience with each visit along with an incredible glass of wine.”
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You can find Ripple Wine Bar in Covington at 4 W. Pike Street.