It’s been a long time coming, but Oaxaca has finally come of age and opened a wine bar, at the recently renovated upper level of La Olla restaurant in Oaxaca’s downtown centro histórico.
It was only a matter of time until someone in the Oaxacan hospitality industry realized that the success of a couple of higher end wine and spirits stores in the city (La Cava and Prissa Gourmet), together with Sam’s Club’s reasonably good selection of wines, signaled that the palates of residents of Oaxaca had become sufficiently refined to warrant opening a wine bar.
Tourist demand for wine service in a pleasing ambiance with a selection of tapas / botanas, has existed for some time. The Freixenet wine bar in Tequisquiapan, a tourist town in the state of Querétaro, bears witness. But the vagaries of tourism in Oaxaca dictated that entrepreneurs wait until there was sufficient interest on the part of resident Oaxacans.
La Olla Restaurant’s Decision to Open its Upper Level as a Wine Bar in Oaxaca
Luis Espinosa and renowned chef Pilar Cabrera, owners of La Olla restaurant, had renovated the upper level of their restaurant a couple of years ago, building a full – length bar, and sprucing up the decor with mauve, wine and deep rose tones, and vintage chandeliers. Rotating original, quality Oaxacan ar
(offered for sale) had been a signature of the combined restaurant and gallery for several years. Just toss live music into the mix, currently from cellist Luis Zarate Baños, and voilá, the recipe for a successful wine bar in Oaxaca.
La Olla stands unique in Oaxaca, a city which relies on tourism for its very existence, in that the restaurant boasts a healthy complement of locals as well as tourists as its clientele. So even with the ebb and flow of tourist travel to Oaxaca, knowing that there would always be Oaxacan residents as patrons of a wine bar served to spur on La Olla’s owners.
Selection of Wines and Botanas / Appetizers Available at La Olla Wine Bar in Downtown Oaxaca
Currently there are two white wines, and nine reds from which to choose, ranging in price from 190 to 595 pesos per 750 ml bottle, or by the glass across the board at 55 pesos. The latter pricing and broad choice of product enables patrons to try wines that they perhaps otherwise would not, without breaking the bank.