Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rumours Wine Bar

Rumours Wine Bar - Nashville

Rumours Wine Bar Nashville

I have a special treat for you all today! I've had an intern working with me this semester and this is her first guest post here on my blog. Katrina has a background working for a wine company so she set out to interview one of Nashville's favorite wine bars - Rumours Wine Bar. With two locations, one in the Gulch and the other in East Nashville, Rumours Wine Bar has two major sides of town covered! Enjoy Katrina's overview below............


           Last year, Rumours Wine Bar moved from its original 12South location to the ground floor of the Icon building, tucked away at the corner of 12th & Division. Situated on the backside of the Gulch, the new location is fantastic, and the same can be said for the atmosphere. Good weather has arrived and luckily, the patio is simultaneously spacious and cozy, providing the perfect spot for a Saturday afternoon, date night, or drinks after work. Inside, rustic tables are contrasted by polished fixtures and an elegant bar, complete with a library-inspired wall.

            Jenn Doherty McCarthy serves as the house sommelier and managing partner, and exemplifies the approachable sophistication that is Rumours.  Hailing from the East Coast, she worked her way up in the restaurant industry by starting out as a server, and eventually taking on the position of becoming a manager at the renowned Fore Street in Portland, Maine. Jenn made the move to Nashville when she joined the management at Watermark, and has since developed an affection for both the city and the South.

           Labeling herself as a people-pleaser, Jenn jokingly explains that the process of wine selection can be a struggle due to her people-pleasing nature and Irish-Catholic guilt. She has an affinity for Old World wines, but she’s found that many customers prefer varietals from Australia and California.  Despite the conflict, the result is a complete and extensive wine list, that spans regions as well as flavor profiles.  “So much of Rumours is making customers feel comfortable. Nashville’s not really a wine town, so we want everyone to feel like we’re here to help them learn, as well as be known as the go-to place for wine enthusiasts,” Jenn explains.

            Jenn has developed her own approach when determining the ideal wine for a guest. She asks a series of three questions before she makes her recommendation: Red or white? Light or heavy? Fruity or earthy? She encourages guests to be adventurous and promises to buy your drink if she steers you wrong.

            Another resource for new Rumours customers are the pairings Jenn prepared for me. These wine pairings are perfectly complimentary to the given dishes based on the differing characteristics and structures of the wines including acidity, tannin, sweetness, etc; and yes, they all taste as good as they look.

Rumours Wine Bar
Varietal: Cava
Producer: Avinyo
Region: Spain
Paired with: Fried Brussels Sprouts, Benton’s Bacon & Gouda cheese

Rumours Wine Bar

Rumours Wine Bar
Varietal: Riesling
Producer: Lola
Region: California
Paired with: Scallops with Spicy Almond & Hazelnut Romesco

Rumours Wine Bar
 Varietal: Barbera d’Alba
Producer: Terre del Barolo
Region: Italy
Paired with: Italian Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil

           Food and wine: check. What kind of service can you expect at Rumours?  Walk-ins are welcome and the patio doesn’t usually fill up until after 6. Make a reservation on weekends, as they tend to be busier and Rumours makes it a point not to hover over tables or appear anxious to seat the next party. “We treat our customers well. We want to be gracious and facilitate an experience. You should feel comfortable regardless of how much you’re ordering or spending, there’s no rush.”

            The attitude ranks among my favorite things about Rumours, but here’s another; Jenn prides herself on offering drink specials 7 days a week, from 4 to 7 p.m. With $6 cocktails, $5 wines, and $3 drafts, she cites one of Rumours main goals as maintaining a reasonable price point while bringing customers value.

             Happy hour daily. Prime location. Gracious service. Exciting ambiance. Rumours exceeds typical expectations and takes it to a new level with an impeccable wine list that is sure to have something for everyone. This wine bar has already proven itself as a local staple in the Gulch, and is well on its way to becoming a Nashville mainstay.


Katrina Dougherty is a Chicago suburbanite who is studying, living, working, and interning in Nashville.  Katrina is passionate about writing, marketing, PR, and making lists.  Email her at:  katrina.n.dougherty@gmail.com

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