You've got to give Conrad Hunter credit. Not satisfied with a fine little wine shop near the SouthPark area, he bought out his partner, added a wine bar, and hired a chef. The result is a small gem of a place with hand-selected wines and beers, great light bites, and a friendly atmosphere.
But that wasn't enough, either. So he ventured to the booming Steele Creek area to open a second location. For this one, he expanded the menu, added a private room with a big-screen TV and all the requisite AV hookups, and, most excitingly, installed the city's second Enomatic. (The first is at Winestore.) The Eno is a self-serve wine-dispensing machine that allows browsers to sample as many as thirty-six wines in three different pour sizes. You can try high-end wines for a couple bucks, or fill a glass of something else for not much more than that.
The Wine Shop Rivergate, named for the spanking-new shopping center it inhabits, is an attractive space, with large windows, orange walls, and wood floors. Several bistro and café tables are arranged in front of a long bar. Rows of wines by the bottle are off to a side. Hunter strives to stock his shops with wines you can't find elsewhere in town, and his competent staff tastes every one. They know their stuff, making it a fun place to shop. On the menu, look for wine bar-type food, like cheeses and cured meats, salads, flatbreads, paninis, and small plates (try the crab cakes or house-made chips with Gorgonzola and aioli).
14142 Rivergate Pkwy., (704-831-9000) $, L, D, BW, P.