Central Wine Phoenix offers wine, home-brewed beer in classy, comfortable atmosphere

PHOENIX - A chic new wine bar has moved into downtown Phoenix.

Central Wine Phoenix is one lightrail stop north of Lux Coffee and close neighbors to the George and Dragon along Central Avenue. But its only one sip away from the vineyards of California and Italy.

At least that is what owner Jenna Rousseau, 27, hopes you experience once you step through the front doors of the City's newest wine bar. Central Wine celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 11.

Born and raised in Arizona, Rousseau set off to Italy to study economics and finance, but often found herself swirling wine at the local wineries.

"I drank a lot of wine, but I didn't know much about it," she said. So her curious pallet led her to try even more wines and learn about the flavors and process from the experts.

Eventually, Rousseau bounced around in California where she took a few wine classes, gained her necessary certifications, and has now moved back to the Valley.

She wants to help everyone experience the succulent joys of a delicious wine. It's a "never ending education," she says.

Central Wine Phoenix is allowing her to do just that. Customers will be able to try a variety of local, national and international wines, such as Stage Stop Vinyards in Page, Ariz. and Carlson Creek Vinyards in Willcox.

Rousseau says each week the bar will feature six wines--three red and three white-- on tap, while having at least a dozen bottled wines available. They also have two home-brewed beers on tap, but will be expanding to four.

Rousseau wants customers to come in curious and find a wine that they truly enjoy. So, sample taste tests are allowed (but don't be greedy!).

Central Wine doesn't have a kitchen, but they are working with local grocers (currently Aj's) to serve cheese and meat platters that customers can purchase. They also have a retail area where wine, wine toppers and bags can be purchased.

Most wines sold by the glass are under $10. Bottled wines range from $17 to $30.

Central Wine is open Tuesday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 12 p.m. - 11 p.m. They are closed Sunday and Monday.

Asked what her favorite wine is, Rousseau said she can't just choose one. She says it depends on the mood and the meal. "That's what makes it so fun," she said. View the bar's Facebook page for more information.

Know of a new restaurant or bar opening or closing around the Valley? Email Josh Frigerio and let him know.

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