The promise of wine and whiskey is an enticing one, and when it comes to these two beverages Grafted Whiskey & Wine Bar reigns.
Walk in and you’re greeted with a trendy opulence not common across most of Reno. It registers much more San Francisco or Las Vegas than most of the biggest little city’s hometown bars. It also makes a lot of sense that this dimly lit bar (and restaurant—I didn’t even know they served food) is set in south Reno’s Rancharrah.
Visitors have several options when they walk in. You can sit at the large centerpiece bar, ask for an indoor table or grab a coveted spot on the patio. If you’re hungry, there are shareable small plates to dine on, ranging from crab cakes and pasta to a seared bavette steak (known more commonly as a flank steak) and hummus.
The real attraction though is the bar menu, which includes wine and whiskey flights. The whiskey tastings are especially bougie. Three one-ounce pours of various whiskeys (there are four options to choose from differing in type and price) are presented on a wooden board with descriptions. You will also receive two small beakers and an eye dropper so you can bring out the flavors of the liquor with small drops of water the way connoisseurs do or cool down an uncut serving with a small piece of ice.
Of course, if you’re not here for the straight whiskey, there are a collection of classic cocktails on the menu. The presentation of all of the drinks are both impressive and fun. Choose from whiskey or bourbon-based drinks you’ve likely heard of—old fashioned, whiskey sour, Sazerac and Manhattan, to name a few.
As someone who doesn’t shy away from a whiskey cocktail, I can tell you the New York sour is my favorite, and it perfectly mixes Grafted’s best assets, made with both whiskey and wine. Specifically, it’s a combination of simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and bourbon finished with a Lambrusco (a type of red wine) float.
If whiskey and wine aren’t your thing, you aren’t out of luck. There is a small sampling of craft cocktails on the menu featuring other liquors such as gin and mezcal.
In all, there are more than 100 different whiskeys and 100 different wines available by the taste, flight, glass, bottle, or whatever other measurement you ask for.
But it doesn’t end there. The dessert menu might be the most interesting. Sure, there’s a peach cobbler a la mode and a whiskey affogato, but there’s also whiskey cream sodas finished with a cookie crumble rim. And, of course, plenty of ports, aperitifs and other dessert wines for those of us that prefer to drink our sweets.
For those who really like Grafted, there are loyalty programs such as the whiskey lockers you’ll see on display at the entrance, a $1,499 annual commitment that includes curated bottles stored away in an on-site locker for you to drink as you please, plus other discounts and perks.
Looking for a deal? Come in for happy hour, Tuesday through Friday from 3-5 p.m. In addition to cocktails at $2 off, you can also taste discounted flatbread pizzas.
7300 Rancharrah Pkwy., Suite 160, Reno, Nev. 89511
Tuesday – Thursday 3 to 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 3 to 10 p.m.
Sunday Brunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.