A small class establishment serving the town of New Albany, Indiana, just across the river from downtown Louisville, River City Winery produces its own selection of wines, using locally-grown ingredients and a strong emphasis on being “Indy proud.” It’s a nice middle fit as far as wineries go; the food is pretty rustic and the wines sweet in order to appeal to the average person, but any snob will be able to appreciate the effort that goes into these wines. And, of course, they sell by the bottle. Chalk this up as one of New Albany’s signature eateries.
Food on the menu is generally bistro-type, with a lot of sandwiches and salads and light things to pair with the wines on the menu. I gave a sample to the “Stromboli,” which contrary to its name is not a turnover, rather it’s a sub with Italian ingredients. It’s still good, the sauce is savory, and there’s just enough cheese in the sandwich to make it really stand out without overwhelming any of the other things to eat. The kettle chips are pretty good too, at least they taste like they could be made in the restaurant. In all, a good light menu.
The wines are great, as I said, those I tried were a little on the sweet side, maybe best suited to local tastes and probably a good option for the beginning wine drinker. Several have won awards, actually, which is a neat plus. The Fire Truck Red, one of the more celebrated varieties, is a Chambourcin Rosé red wine with 2.7 percent R.S. like many of the wines, the alcohol content on this one is relatively low, though there are a few stronger varieties, like the Colonel’s Legacy. Great stuff, and of course you can take a bottle home with you.
The interior is spacious, and set up to be enjoyed with small groups. In spite of the winery appeal, it actually seems to be popular with groups of families and people who didn’t come to drink. Overall a welcoming atmosphere, though it seems that it can get a larger crowd during the evenings and become a little bit of a different scene. In all, though, it’s a class establishment that appeals to a very rustic sensibility; not snooty at all, and with a wide selection of wines to try. A good fit for a town like New Albany.
- The wines are best ordered by the bottle. They’ll automatically split the price for the group.
- Food is primarily bistro fare, with some pizzas and sandwiches. Pretty light, most of it, and designed to pair with a glass.
- Parking is primarily street, so watch out for that in the evening.