It’s springtime in the Downtown Arts District, and owner Kathleen Barnes sits barside, contemplating the new season’s white wines.

6th and Vine has always held a special place in the Downtown Arts District, and when spring hits this little corner of Winston-Salem, the city responds graciously. It’s when 6th and Vine transforms from Winston-Salem’s Living Room into Winston-Salem’s Backyard.

6th and Vine has always held a special place in the Downtown Arts District, and when spring hits this little corner of Winston-Salem, the city responds graciously. It’s when 6th and Vine transforms from Winston-Salem’s Living Room into Winston-Salem’s Backyard.

“The best one I tried was a white blend,” she says. “It’s a little sweet. People love their sweet wines, but I hadn’t really nailed that part of the list down until today.”

Some restaurants — even those that boast of their wine lists — offer just a few choice whites by the glass: a chardonnay, a sauvignon blanc and maybe a pinot grigio. This spring, 6th and Vine will have more than 15 whites by the glass, and even more by the bottle.

“The wine list has a Spanish section,” she says. “It has a French section. I’ve got grapes you’ve never heard of before.”

Like the picpoul, a low-key Rhone varietal that Kathleen found a couple years ago. It’s bright and crisp, with clear flavors of minerals and lemon. It’s on the list.

The patio at 6th and Vine more than doubles the restaurant’s occupancy, with plenty of umbrella tables for everybody throughout the afternoon and into the evening, when the lights start to twinkle. And it’s available for private parties most afternoons.

Along with the new wine list, new menu items complement the season. Steak Wednesdays feature sirloin cuts with a featured treatment. Ceviche makes a perfect companion to Tequila Tuesday. On Thursday, glasses of wine are half price; bottled go half-price on Sunday. New brunch items like bananas Foster French toast with carmelized jalapeño bacon help us ease into the weekend. And a late-night menu upgrades standard bar fare into something more becoming of a bistro: cheese plates, flatbread, fried goat cheese and even nachos.

The wine list rotates; the menu changes; but 6th and Vine works in the same way it always has. It’s casual enough for a drink and a quick bite, fine enough for a sit-down meal for two. There’s always room at the bar, it seems, and the hours spent at a patio table wile away as afternoon melts into evening.

6th and Vine is there for a breezy downtown lunch, for after-work cocktails and a last-minute brunch. Tastings at the bar deepen wine and cocktail knowledge; dinners manage to both comfort and surprise. 

But 6th and Vine is at its best in the springtime, with friends on the patio and a baked brie on the table as a server pours another glasses picpoul white, or verdejo, or another great wine everybody’s been wanting to try.

“This is when everything is in full bloom,” Kathleen says.

6th and Vine $-$$

209 W. Sixth St. WS, 

336.725.5577

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