Review: Vino Volo Wine Room
With all the frustrations of air travel today, it is good to know some folks are trying to make one's experience inside the airport more enjoyable. Over the last few years, Sea-Tac Airport has gone thru extensive renovation, with a new terminal marketplace created to provide travelers a great spot to cool their jets before boarding their flight.
Last Friday, with my flight delayed, I discovered a new wine bar called Vino Volo while strolling thru the terminal marketplace. Vino Volo is not only a wine bar, but also a retail shop where you can purchase a bottle of wine and take it with you on the plane. There are sections dedicated to Washington and Oregon wines as well as California, France, Italy and Spain. Overall, the shop offers a good cross-section of local, regional and world wines.
Best of all, there are some interesting tasting flights arranged to showcase local and global wines. For example, Vino Volo has one side of its tasting menu dedicated to Pacific Northwest wines, featuring flights such as Serious Syrahs, Northwest Noirs, Best of the Northwest and Winery Showcase. They complement these with a series of fun flights of global wines entitled BBQ Reds, Rosés of Summer, World Value Whites and a Sommelier Series.
After scanning the tasting menu, I settled on the Northwest Noir flight, which was comprised of an Apolloni Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2003, a Cristom Mt Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir 2005 and an Argyle Nuthouse Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004 (all three were delicious). Vino Volo presents the flight resting on a tray with information about each wine on a card underneath the glasses. They have an easy to understand flavor chart to help folks identify the fruit and complexity profiles for each wine. In addition, they offer useful tasting notes detailing the various flavor notes as well as terroir maps showing where each wine is sourced. I really appreciated Vino Volo's efforts going beyond the bottle to help connect customers to the wines they poured.
Having just finished lunch, I did not try any of the small dishes Vino Volo offered, which were designed to pair with their wine inventory. The white wine pairings included smoked salmon rolls, a Tuscan chicken sandwich and chickpea sausage chili. The red wine combinations were artisan cured meats, duck confit lentil salad and a ziti and cheese dish. Nuts, olives and cheese are also offered. If you're interested in reading more about their food, here is a more detailed review.
Overall, the service was great, the atmosphere relaxing and the experience fantastic. In fact, I completely forgot I was in an airport. It felt as if I was in a neighborhood wine bar and just enjoying the experience and discovery of tasting wine. Vino Volo has not only created a great concept, but have tapped into a huge unmet need for those seeking a more relaxing, enjoyable way to spend time in an airport.
I highly recommend you stopping by Vino Volo on your next visit to Sea-Tac or another airport they are located. Whether you make your flight or not, there is always another one waiting for you at Vino Volo.