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Wine, Adirondack Chairs and the Calatrava
A hidden patio gem sits right on the lake.


Photo by Kristine Hansen

While out on a bicycle ride last Saturday, we circled behind Harbor House, expecting to continue south on Lincoln Memorial Drive, with the glittering waters of Lake Michigan on our right, sailboats bobbing in the breeze.

“Hey, how about I buy you a glass of wine?” my fiancé said as we approached the patio at this swanky restaurant where previously we’ve dined. The patio, however, is a hidden gem.

We parked our bikes, stripped off our helmets and sunk into two white Adirondack chairs. With an unobstructed view of Santiago Calatrava’s first North American commission (the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion), the view couldn’t have been better. An outside bar at Harbor House mixes cocktails and pours glasses of wine and beer. Platters of oysters, lobster rolls or other eats can be eaten out here too.

Twenty-six wines are poured by the glass, including four sparkling wines and crisp, refreshing whites such as 2011 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc (California) and 2010 Domaine de la Quilla Muscadat (France), and intensely layered reds like 2010 Purple Hands Meritage (Oregon). Sipping a glass of 2011 Ciconia Vinho Verde (Portugal), I declared that the view couldn’t be beat (nor could the wines!).

WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK
Head to the lake – Pewaukee Lake, that is – this summer and there’s a wine deal waiting for you. Lakefront Grille, which opened a little over a year ago inside the former Piano Blu, reduces glasses of wine to a buck off on Tuesday through Friday from 3-7 p.m. But that’s not all: Small plates (items like blackened tilapia tostadas or shrimp tossed with a honey sriracha aioli) are $2-off too.

WINE EVENT OF THE WEEK

If you can’t get out to wine country for the fall harvest, the next best thing is meeting a winemaker close to home. On Sept. 12, Bacchus welcomes Stephen Corley of Monticello Vineyards (Contrary to what you might think, this winery is not in Virginia. It’s in Napa Valley) for a wine dinner. Chef de cuisine Nick Wirth will pair each wine with a special dish designed to bring out the wine’s best qualities. The dinner, which starts at 6:30 p.m., costs $75 per person. To reserve your spot, call Bacchus at 414-765-1166.

WINE OF THE WEEK

The 2011 Robert Talbott Vineyards Kali Hart Pinot Noir (Monterey, California, $21) is a good way to transition into September’s sun-filled days and cool nights. Dark-fruit notes (black cherries and currants) evolve into chewy tannins that linger on the palate. (talbottvineyards.com)





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