Cow Hollow’s West Coast Wine & Cheese is bringing its winning wine bar formula to downtown Mill Valley this Friday, November 30. The San Francisco bar specializes in limited production wines from boutique wineries throughout California, Oregon, and Washington —something it’s done so well that West Coast Wine & Cheese has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence three times.
Chris Wanner — who owns the wine bars with his wife Lindsey — says to expect the exact same wines on offer at both locations, which includes a bottle list of more than 300 wines as well as by-the-glass choices that change weekly. Arguably, a wine bar can only be as good as its storage, and the Mill Valley West Coast Wine & Cheese will precisely control the temperatures of every wine and pair them with corresponding Riedel stemware.
The Wanners had been searching for a location in Marin for about a year before finding the spot in Mill Valley, where serendipitously, there aren’t any other wine bars. After four years on Union Street, they felt the need to branch out.
“Landlords doubling, tripling rent — things like that make you kind of weary. We have a five-and-five lease. In 10 years and one day, our landlord is probably going to do the same thing with us,” he says. “It’s just time. We built what this place is, we have a great neighborhood following, but at the same time, there is so much we can do with this.”
For the new bar, Wanner says he’s “investing more into creature comforts.” That includes nice stools with back rests, velvet armchairs, and a built-in leather couch, all creating intimate spaces within the 700-square-foot wine bar. No minors will be allowed — unlike the San Francisco post — and there also isn’t a hood in the kitchen, so the Mill Valley bar will just offer cheese and charcuterie with bread from Jane’s Bakery. “It’ll make it much more of a lounge,” Wanner says.