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BEST WINE LIST Minneapolis 2008 - Toast Wine Bar & Café

Toast Wine Bar & Café

Toast Wine Bar & Café

415 N. First St.

Minneapolis, MN 55401

612-333-4305

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The most useful wine lists are those carefully pared down to just the essentials. Who needs a zillion bottles to choose from if you're only going to order one? Scott Davis, a onetime partner in Auriga (he ran the front of the house and served as sommelier), is a talented editor when it comes to wine. He and his wife, Erin Tomczyk, opened the shoebox-size Toast Wine Bar & Café to prove that less really can be more. Davis's brief list doesn't have a lot of familiar names, as he'd rather introduce customers to obscure regional wines they've never tried, those small vineyards with limited production. But it's varied enough to pull bottles from Austria to Australia, with prices ranging from under $10 a glass to—if you call ahead and ask Davis to order something special—as much as you want to spend. There's even a nice selection of sparklers, from cava to individual sake bottles. Thankfully, the staff, particularly Davis, who is often around, is adept at answering questions. Or suggesting something snackable to pair: crostini with herbed goat cheese and summer squash, or scrambled egg and chorizo, depending on the season, plus cracker-crust pizzas, charcuterie, and cheeses. And for that, we raise a glass.

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