Pour me somethin' mister!

by Anna Purdy

Wine has gone high tech in a friendly way in River Ranch. Pour has popped its 48 corks.

A new concept headed by Village Cafe's chef Jude Tauzin, Pour features contemporary decor in a setup that allows patrons to choose - and pour - a variety of wines from dispensing machines along one wall of the restaurant.

Right, machine! Stay with me, here. When you walk into Pour you have the choice of buying credit on a Pour card. You then use this card on a wine-dispenser to serve yourself a quarter, half or full glass of wine. The concept is meant to encourage you to taste-test in hopes that you will buy a whole bottle, but because Pour also works as a restaurant, many patrons simply hang around to drink and eat.

There are 48 wines to choose from, each kept at the optimal temperature for its type. This magical wine machine - because any machine that dispenses fine wine seems blessed with an ethereal power - seals and preserves the wine in it, guaranteeing a great Pour. There are certainly bartenders on hand for recommendations, but for those leery of getting a snide sommelier stereotype striding in and judging their choices, this setup is ideal.

The food has depth and luxury without pretention. Much like a gastropub, a lot of its food is based on simple, standard bar offerings yet with fancier twists. Here you can order chips with bacon lardons with melted bleu cheese and a housemade roasted red pepper ketchup. You can take a look at Pour's really great selection of cheese and devise your own cheese plate. Or make a lunch or late dinner out of it and add a panini to your order.

Pour is located at 605 Silverstone Road (in the former Tropical Smoothie location). Closed on Sundays, it's open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and until midnight on weekends.