Craft beer may be the favored beverage in and around Asheville, but not everybody wants to hang out in breweries. Thankfully, the city also boasts a few excellent wine bars, which bring a different vibe to the downtown scene. If you’re ready to trade your IPA in for a merlot, don’t hesitate to hit up 5 Walnut Wine Bar, where you’ll find not only an extensive selection of fine wines, but also a range of cheese boards and other small eats.
The moment you step into 5 Walnut Wine Bar, you’ll feel at home. The bar perfectly spans the divide between relaxed and sophisticated; it feels classy but never pretentious. The venue is small, so it can get crowded quickly during peak hours. You may be forced to wait a few minutes outside to get in — and when you arrive, you’re not guaranteed a seat. When the weather cooperates, the establishment’s large windows open up to create a cafe-like atmosphere outside. This also makes the inside portion of the bar feel less crowded.
If you’re lucky enough to get a spot at the bar or a seat at a table, take a close look at the exceptional craftsmanship. Both the bar and tables feature maple built by woodworker Peter White — owner Matt Logan’s cousin. Local chairmaker Brian Boggs is the genius behind the barstools. Be sure to check out the mural by local artist Ben Betsalel — a familiar name in Asheville. Another wall features a public art project from the Black Mountain College and Museum Art Center.
Wine may be the highlight at 5 Walnut Wine Bar, but beer drinkers won’t be turned away; in addition to its extensive wine selection, the bar offers several bottled and canned beers at surprisingly affordable prices. A few local selections are available from the Asheville Brewing Co. and Wicked Weed.
Of course, if you’re like most visitors, you’ll focus on wine. Feel free to sample a range of whites. reds, and even meads from all over the world. Split an exotic bottle for an upscale night out — or check out the blackboard for affordable specials.
Looking to pair your favorite wine with the perfect snack or appetizer? Our favorite menu items include:
Featuring Vermont cheddar and Southern Smash salami, this cheese and meat board allows you to choose between brie and chèvre. Like all cheese boards at 5 Walnut Wine Bar, the Ploughman Plate is served with a baguette and your choice of olives or pickles. Gluten-free baguettes are available upon request.
The Local Yocal
If you share the owners’ fondness for local Asheville products, you’ll appreciate this cheese board. Although it changes daily, you’re always guaranteed a delicious sampling of cheeses to complement your wine,
Toasted Almonds Provence
Not in the mood for cheese? Not a problem. Your wine will also pair perfectly with this small serving of toasted almonds, featuring sea salt, olive oil, and herbs de Provence.
Order one cheddar biscuit alongside your beverage or a half dozen to share with your friends. Cheddar biscuits pair particularly well with the bar’s bottled beers.
From cheese to almond and even baked goods, you’ll find plenty of flavors to complement your favorite beverage. Don’t hesitate to ask staff members for help with pairing.
-Stay tuned for local musicians, who perform frequently at the bar. You’ll encounter a variety of genres if you visit regularly, but jazz nights are particularly popular. Keep an eye on Instagram for updates on live music.
-The snacks at 5 Walnut Wine Bar are tasty, but not particularly filling. If you’re especially hungry, stop by the connected cheese shop. -In addition to an extensive meat and cheese collection, you’ll find baked goods and build-your-own cheese boards.
5 Walnut Wine Bar is one of several dog-friendly establishments in Asheville. If you bring your pooch, be sure to post a picture on Instagram.