Mermaid Winery Review
Address: 330 W. 22nd Street, #106 Norfolk,Virginia 23517.
Phone Number: 757-233-4155
Tasting Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:00-11:00, Fri-Sat 11:00am-12:00am
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/5/2016
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
It was a gloomy afternoon in Chesapeake, Virginia. Having checked into our hotel and run a few necessary errands, we decided that the rainy afternoon was better spent indoors than on the beach. Scanning various apps for suggestions and knowing in our minds that the answer had to involve wine, we quickly located Mermaid Winery, an urban winery located in the heart of nearby Norfolk.
The tasting room at Mermaid was closed due to a private event, so instead we enjoyed our wines the restaurant adjacent to the tasting room. Walking in, we were greeted by a statue of a Mermaid and grapevines planted around a patio that would have been the perfect place to enjoy wine on a day with better weather. Hurriedly, we stepped in out of the rain. The interior is decked out in an eclectic collection of Medieval-looking wooden chandeliers and Broadway-style signage with oak barrels stacked as a divider between the bar and the restaurant tables with more oak barrels piled five high and looming large behind the bar. It was an interesting decorative look, and they pull it off well. We were seated snugly at a comfortable couch with a view of the drizzling day just out the window and were thankful for the comfortable environment and wine to pair with it.
The service at Mermaid was excellent from start to finish. In our two hours there, we were assisted by multiple staff members, all of whom were courteous and made good suggestions. When we asked about gluten free options, they went out of their way to make crackers out of a cucumber so that Sonja, who cant have gluten, could share the truly excellent spin-dip with me. The menu was impressive, and we briefly pondered skipping out on other plans to return the following night for their four-year anniversary party.
We make it a point to try as many wines as possible when visiting a winery, and that afternoon we managed to taste six of the eight or so currently being crafted at Mermaid. The reds, with the exception of the softer Cabernet Franc, all exhibited pronounced smoky characteristics, while the whites, a Chardonnay and a Chenin Blanc, were off-dry with a hint of sweetness, and quite enjoyable. While I amused myself with a second flight from Mermaids extensive list of over 600 additional wines from around the world, Sonja sat back, rocked our son Titus, and enjoyed a glass of their Chardonnay.
Off to the side, a small crew of black-clad staff worked diligently to hand-label shiners of their sweet peach wine. It was interesting to watch them work, and we mused that perhaps the reason for not having a machine to undertake such tedium was the fact that many of Mermaids wines are made in very small quantities comparative to most operations; I noticed on the label of the red blend I tried that only fifty cases had been produced.
If you find yourself in the Norfolk area with an evening to kill, we would highly recommend a visit to Mermaid Winery, especially on a day fit for sitting on a patio. The helpful, knowledgeable staff and enjoyable wines make it a rare treat and a place worth visiting for any wine enthusiast.