Hillcrest, please accept my apologies. In my many wine-bar excursions, I've somehow neglected you. Hopefully, a recent trip to Jake's on 6th (3755 Sixth Ave.) makes up for that.
With a small patio, a large bar, a couple of couches and several tables spread throughout, Jake's layout is ideal for a date or meet-up with friends—a long table toward the back welcomes larger parties as well.
Since this was a date night, I chose a table in the middle and began exploring the wine menu. I decided to start with the 2011 Heinz Eifel Riesling from Germany—sweet wines are what my significant other finds most appealing. He likes his wines like his women, eh? The rich flavor of apricot was pleasant, but it proved a bit too sweet for my taste and I let my boyfriend finish the glass.
I followed this with a 2011 Zinfandel from Bianchi in Paso Robles. Bianchi always has tasty offerings, and this one was no different. The deep cherry flavor matched the color, and the hint of tobacco on the nose was reflected in light smoke on the tongue. The spiciness of the Zin also went well with our appetizer; panini bread topped with creamy melted Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh mozzarella—simply called "cheese sticks"—had the perfect amount of pesto aioli and came with a side of brilliant red marinara sauce that tasted as fresh as it looked.
Another great thing about Jake's are the wine specials. Mondays feature half-off bottles, and all-night happy hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays includes $10 wine flights. Plus, the daily happy hour, from 4 to 7 p.m., gets you $2 off wines by the glass, 25 percent off bottles and a few discounted food items. Any place that gives me a good excuse for weekday wining gets a gold star.