It's a girl thing at The Grape 

I would never date a guy who wears his cell phone on his belt. As deal breakers go, festooning oneself with communication technology is as revealing a personality indicator as leaving a bad tip.

Which is why it's a good thing I didn't go to The Grape, a wine bar in Vinings, to pick up men. And from the volume of estrogen flowing on the patio alone, it doesn't look like anyone else did either.

If your cell phone is affixed to your belt, and you are out in Vinings, chances are pretty good you are also wearing khakis and a button-down shirt, which may or may not be navy or red plaid. Yes, there is a dress code among men here that is followed with a kind of Stepford Husbands creepiness. But for every male donning the Vinings, early-30s duds, there are about 10 Vinings, early-30s females.

Clustered around white plastic tables on the bricks of this strip-mall patio are many women engaged with one another in a way that only ladies who are knocking back a good many glasses of white Zin to wash down their brie and shrimp remoulade can be. Here, wine tastes best with tank tops, Kate Spade purses and possibly a Marlboro Light once the sun goes down and those boys in khaki pants give up and go home.

But the only thing more squeaky-clean than the patrons of The Grape is the wine menu itself. With more than 120 reds, whites, brutes and pink stuff, the menu is approachable with its taste-numbering system -- a one is a light-bodied white, six is a full-bodied red -- that helps those of us who admit to being dilettantes order a glass of something we might just like.

After three or four glasses of a dry, indulgent $4.50 brute, I, too, am ignoring the jazz trio in lieu of huddling over a block of Stilton with one of my favorite gal pals. Which might go to show that with the right elixirs, even this pasteurized nether region on the circumference of the Perimeter has a nice bouquet.

The Grape, 4300 Paces Ferry Road, Suite 244. 770-803-WINE. Open Mon.-Thurs., 5-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Wine by the glass $4-$15. Every Wednesday 5-7 p.m. is a happy hour with wine specials and free appetizers. Light menu includes various cheeses and other appetizers.


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