Belly up to Cellar Wine Bar for great wine and food

Happy Place: Cellar Wine Bar, 2556 15th Street, 303-455-9463

The Hours: Daily from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Deals: $5 select glasses of wine, $5 wine cocktails, $1 off all beer selections

Were We Happy? Flip the page to find out.

Feeling peckish, we sampled from a fantasy lineup of wine bar fare that featured the elusive trifecta we always hope for: simple snacks that offer a mix of salty, savory and sweet profiles. While not discounted, the assorted cheeses, salumi, tapas and chocolate options were still a smokin' deal, especially given the generous portions. A plate laden with shards of nutty Cantal cheese from The Truffle, plus thin slices of Tuscan wild boar salami and a similarly presented mound of porcini salami (from Il Mondo Vecchio) cost just $15. Sides thoughtfully designed to pair with the savory items as well as the wine were priced at $2 each and offered delightful textural and flavor contrasts -- honey-drizzled black Mission figs, tart cornichons and roasted Marcona almonds were a few of our favorites. We finished up the snacks and closed out our two social hours with a final glass of vino. The earthy, peppery Viña Borgia Garnacha 2010, when paired with paprika-smoky Spanish meatballs, made for the equivalent of a roaring fire on this particularly snowy evening -- and kept us warm all the way home.

Overall Grade: A-

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