Monday, May 27, 2013

"Off the Vine" is off the Beaten Path!

A recent Saturday evening had Louise wanting a glass of wine and Thelma just wanting to get out of the house. So, we jumped in our sporty laguna blue SUV and headed down the road. Our adventure took us down local Midwestern country roads to a fairly new destination in Momence, IL. Louise said, "We're NOT in the middle of nowhere, but we can see it from here". There, in that quaint little river town, we found a hidden gem for those of us who like wine and wine drinkers. It is "Off the Vine" Floral and Wine Shop ( 

Photo: Come on out tonite for karaoke at off the vine 8 - 11

This turn-of-the-century building has been restored to reveal a beautiful silver pressed-tin ceiling. As Thelma looked up, she groaned, "I don't ever remember feeling this awake". (The silver shine of the ceiling must've shocked her senses alive with its beauty!) The walls are lined with wine racks made by the owner out of pallets with the many different wines available from Illinois Wineries, such as: Illinois River, Alto Vineyards, Blue Sky, August Hill and Galena Cellars, just to name a few.  

You can enjoy many different tastings by buying a flight of reds or whites, or just buy a glass of your favorite. Thelma savored every bit of her white wine flight, preferring Blue Sky Infinity and Niagara from Illinois River Valley. "I know it's crazy, but I just feel like I got a knack for this shit", she muttered between sipping. Louise went after a red wine flight and savored them all, but went hog-wild over Alto Vineyards Rocko Red, especially when she found out it was named after the vineyard owner's best friend, a dog named Rocko who had passed away. Even more exciting is the fact that you can buy a bottle (or two) to take home to enjoy. Thelma did a little dance around the pub when she learned of this!

The pub tables with stools are very comfortable and just right for enjoying the ambiance with friends, old and new (you're bound to make a few new friends each time!). If you have a larger group, there are tables for you.  

If you like homemade fudge (who doesn't??), they feature fudge made in Gilman, IL (down the road a-piece). And they have cheese, too (don't you all like a little cheese with that wine?).

Look around! There are shelves of decor, mostly with a "wine" twist. Candles, flowers, and various little knick-knacks are there for purchase. Louise shot a great photo of her fave.
Once you get through wandering around on the main floor, take the little journey downstairs. It was a nice surprise to find another bar there that features beer and other refreshments. The seating is counter-height tables with stools. In the far corner, if you're lucky, there will be someone singing while you visit with your friends.  

The owner is a very friendly lady who makes you feel like you're in the home of your best friend, just pulling up a chair to enjoy wine and chat with her (or her employees) about their wines, the establishment, or the upcoming entertainment scheduled there. So, follow Off the Vine on Facebook (

They have many events planned in the coming weeks that you should check out. You might even see Thelma & Louise sipping their favorites!  Take a group and look for us!  After all: