A world of wine at your fingertips

Alzavino Wine Tavern

Written by Kim Dugger Attwater

A Wichita couple is pouring their passion for wine into a new type of business for the area. Danielle and Ken Harmon opened Alzavino Wine Tavern last month in the historic Delano neighborhood. It’s apparently the city’s first self-service wine bar.

It’s also the Harmons’ first venture into the hospitality industry, though they’re not newbies when it comes to wine.

“We like to joke that we’ve been doing market research for a very long time,” Danielle said.

Alzavino (Italian for a device used to taste test wine) features 16 different wines from which patrons can dispense themselves pours of 1, 3 or 6-ounces, plus 74 more wines offered by the bottle. There’s a menu of appetizers and desserts along with local craft and domestic beers and nonalcoholic beverages.

Both Harmons spent years working in corporate roles for Koch Industries. Vacations often included visiting wineries and their tasting rooms. Danielle said the couple “kept a running list of things we liked” and then incorporated as many as possible into Alzavino. Chief is the idea of exposing customers to wines they might not have tried before. Jamie Stratton of Jacob Liquor helped develop the wine list, which ranges from the West Coast to Europe to South Africa.

“We didn’t want run-of-the-mill wines you can find anywhere,” Danielle said. “We wanted things people may have seen in the liquor store but never tried.”

For instance, someone who’s been reluctant to drop big bucks on a bottle from Caymus Vineyard can sample an ounce or three for a fraction of the cost. Alzavino’s 1-ounce pours run from $1 to $5.70, while 6-ounce pours go for $5 to $35. Plans call for seasonal rotation of some wines and others brought in for occasions such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Pride Month.

Most of Alzavino’s food offerings have been sourced from local purveyors such as Bagatelle, the Wichita Cheesecake Company, Reverie Roasters and Lovie & Co. A “chocuterie” board composed of artisan chocolate, toasted marshmallows and more has proved especially popular.

The Harmons’ son, Lukas, is on the staff and their daughter, Amanda, is expected to help out during breaks from college. Alzavino is open 3–10 p.m., Monday–Thursday; 3–11 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 3–9 p.m., Sunday.

The Harmons were happy to find a historic building to house Alzavino — a 1906 building that was once used by Citizens State Bank. They’ve redone the interior in warm Tuscan colors and décor centered around wine barrels and boxes. There’s room for 67 people inside and 28 more on the patio. A vault, used as an office by a previous tenant, has been turned into a private space for up to 10, while the semi-enclosed “grotto” out back holds eight.

“We’re really excited about where Delano is headed with the (new) baseball stadium and everything else going on down here,” Danielle said.

Where to Find Them

Alzavino Wine Tavern
1001 W. Douglas

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