I have never written about a wine bar before but I am making an exception in this case since The Empty Glass wine bar serves approximately 60% Texas wines.
The Empty Glass is located in Tomball and opened in September 2012 with a Grand Opening on October 6. Dana Kelly is the owner and Amber Brown is the general manager.
Since we are always looking for a good local wine bar, we visited The Empty Glass when it first opened and were very pleased with the ambiance, staff, and selection of wines and food. The staff was extremely friendly and we were helped by more than one person.
The wine bar is very open inside with tables, bar, and high seats along two long tables. A room is adjacent to the main room with more tables and a television for sporting events. Tables are outside along with a porch area with more seating, televisions, and a location for bands to perform which currently are held every weekend. Also on the current calendar schedule are wineries coming in every weekend holding tastings.
The selection of Texas wines is extensive including some wines you cannot find in a local store. Menus are available on their website if you want to see the large selection. The first time we visited the wine bar the food selection consisted of the usual meat and cheese trays. The last time I was there they had increased their menu.
I made a point to visit on their Grand Opening day. Three Texas wineries were present to give tastings of their wine. For a fee you could taste the wines from Inwood Estates Vineyards, Llano Estacado Winery, and Pleasant Hill Winery. There was also a tasting of non-Texas wines. The tastings were divided up into two shifts with Inwood Estates and Llano Estacado Winery during the first shift and Pleasant Hill Winery and the non-Texas wines in the second shift. Since I knew the representatives from Inwood Estates and Llano Estacado, I arrived during the first shift.
Spencer Gatlin from Inwood Estates soon had me tasting the first of the five wines available. While enjoying the tasting, Bill Freidhof from Llano Estacado saw me and after he requested a second wine glass for me, he started me with the first of the seven wines he had available. Here I was with one wine glass in one hand and another glass in my other hand doing tastings of some great Texas wine. To top it off, I mentioned to owner Dana Kelly how I had attempted to make the 1:00pm ribbon cutting ceremony where champagne was offered, and soon had some champagne sitting in front of me too. Did I mention the staff was great? Initially there was no dump bucket present but we soon found one as I wanted to walk out of the bar.
During the tastings I looked at the expanded food menu and decided on a panini which was excellent. In fact, I ended up having two.
On the bar were wine bottles with a really nice embossed label for The Empty Glass. I had to ask about those bottles and learned they were custom labels with Pedernales Cellars Merlot.
The first shift of tastings was complete and the second shift started. I was asked if I wanted to do tastings from the second shift, but after 12 wines (with some dumping) and some champagne, I decided I had my fill for the day.
We have friends who have been to The Empty Glass to watch football games and they said it was an excellent location. I am sure we will be meeting them sometime there and definitely will be visiting The Empty Glass more often.