Santé: The wine bar that will wake up your tastebuds and satisfy all your senses

Even during hard economic times, Santé Wine Bar is thriving.  This intimate yet worldy wine bar located in downtown Asheville opened in 2006. Recently they won the renowned Mountain Xpress award for Best Wine Selection for the fourth year in a row. Serving up quality wine is important, but Santé also wants wine to be about fun and adventure. While many wine bars may come across as stuffy and overpriced, Santé aims to keep it simple:  stellar wine at reasonable prices.

It’s not hard to see why people come out to try one of Santé's two-hundred wine labels, and then keeping coming back. As owner Carla Baden puts it, “We didn't want Santé to be just a special occasion kind of place. It’s a place you can come with a friend after work and spend $10 on great tasting wine.” Santé is also known as being a retail wine bar. Any wine you try can be purchased by the bottle and enjoyed right away for a small corkage fee or at home.

Baden noted that the staff is an integral part of what makes Santé a place where people love to taste and get a feel for new wines.   Their years of combined experience keeps adding a wealth of flavor, knowledge and excitement to Santé’s vibrant atmosphere.

Santé is French idiom that means “To your health”. They have a number of ways to ensure new and returning customers feel right at home tasting and exploring wine. They change their by-the-glass menus every 2 weeks, and make sure their menu stays current with the latest wine varieties to try. Wine pours are $4.50 to $9, but many people are attracted to their Flights — a sampling of four different wines. This month, to help with the Holiday hustle and bustle, Santé is offering a Flight called “Santa’s Little Helper” or wines to relieve the holiday crazies, featuring wines from different regions in Spain.

Besides wine, there is also quality food. Cheese boards which consist of local and regional cheese are chosen to compliment a diverse selection of wine. Sunburst smoked trout, bruschetta and hummus plates are also popular selections at Santé.  If you're a chocolate lover, (and who isn't), pairing the right wine with the right chocolate can be a match made in heaven! So, Santé offers a Chocolate Flight, a sampling of handmade artisan chocolate from Chapel Hill, NC, sure to tantalize your palate.

As Santé has grown over the past 4 years, so has their involvement with the Asheville community. Part of their company mandate is to give back and Santé  has been staying active to bring about their mission. They were one of the original sponsors of the ‘Buy Local’ campaign that helps promote independent businesses in Asheville. More recently, Santé hosted a “Local Yokel” in which a portion of their cheese boards sold went to benefit a program called TAPAS (Teaching Artists Performing in Asheville Schools).This time of year, they stay active in the Manna Food Bank Drives and Toys for Tots.

It's exciting to see what fun happenings and wines will come next from Santé. Right around the corner on December 9th, Santé  is offering their "Flight Night". For $14, you get the 4 pours of their monthly flight, and a 5th pour for free. This is an RSVP event that starts at 7pm and includes a special guest presentation.

Besides great wine, Santé has a local personality yet also a culturally rich atmosphere. Wine culture is still emerging in the United States, and Santé Wine Bar is at the forefront in helping people get a feel for the variety and adventuresome spirit that wine has to offer.