In the heart of East Price Hill’s Incline District, Somm Wine Bar has a cozy, seat-yourself atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Old and New World producers are represented, with bottles from popular vineyards throughout Europe, California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma County, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Columbia Valley in Washington. As you might expect, the food menu is dominated by sharable plates. The obligatory charcuterie board is there, but the eclectic small bites are far more interesting. Calamari, sautéed with chorizo, rapini, capers, and tomatoes in a Spanish style, was a standout. An Italian pinot grigio made the rich flavors shine on a warm, late-summer day. Among the entrées, the coq au vin—a French staple—was traditional in every sense. Served with mushrooms, peas, pearl onions, lardons, and whipped potatoes, the roasted chicken thighs were tender, with the right amount of sauce. The dish paired naturally with a glass of Demazet, a red blend from France’s Côtes du Rhône region. Though the waitstaff was friendly and helpful with questions, they didn’t offer much assistance with food and wine pairings. For diners unfamiliar with the basics, this shortfall could make for sour grapes.
Somm Wine Bar, 3101 Price Ave., East Price Hill, (513) 244-5843, sommwinebarcincinnati.com, Dinner Tues–Sat.