By Bailey Faulkner
It’s common knowledge that the High Country loves its craft beers. While everyone can agree that’s a great thing, those who favor wine may feel left out. That’s why Angela Kelly at Proper in downtown Boone set out to host Wine and Dine Wednesdays each week.
“I feel like this area is so craft-beer-driven, and that’s great too — I do enjoy craft beers — but I feel like wine is ignored a little. People are intimidated by it maybe, and I don’t want them to be,” said Angela, owner of Proper.
Ms. Kelly’s idea for an affordable and relaxed weekly wine night sprouted after a conversation with Proper wine rep Paula Horton.
“I brought this idea up to Paula that I wanted to do a regular, not necessarily wine dinner, but a wine club or something that would bring together people who are really interested in learning about wine,” Angela reflected. “And then Paula suggested, ‘how about just a wine dinner with small plates.’”
And so Wine and Dine Wednesday at Proper was born. Since the event’s first iteration last October, Proper has been able to offer high-quality wines and dish pairings at an affordable price rarely seen at more formal wine dinners.“It’s treated like most wine dinners, but it’s much more causal. Generally, wine dinners are $80 to $100 and are very formal. The nice thing about Proper’s wine night is that it’s not formal and is very approachable,” wine rep Paula said.
At $28 per person, Proper’s wine nights strive to do one thing: educate people about wine in a relaxed atmosphere at an affordable price.
“We do it every Wednesday, and it’s affordable. I want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy delicious food and wine,” Angela said. “I really just wanted to educate people about wine. It’s such a beautiful final product, and there’s so much work that goes into producing a bottle.”
With such a reasonable price and laid-back environment, Proper provides enjoyment for people of all ages and levels of wine knowledge. One of the main attractions of Proper’s wine nights is the 5:30 – 6:30 comlimentary wine sampling hour with Paula.
“The purpose of that is so people can taste the wines without the food, and then they get to sit down and have a dinner and it’s different. With food, it brings out certain flavors of both the wine and the particular dish that has been prepared,” Angela said.
With Proper’s regular menu also available on Wednesday nights, the weekly events fill a much-needed niche in the High Country.
“It’s unique in the sense that people can come and try the complimentary wines or order the wine dinner or order off the regular menu. It really appeals to all age groups and levels of peoples’ interest in wine,” Paula said.
While Paula’s knowledge and selection of wine each week is enough to excite any wine lover, Angela uses her background in food to take the dinners to the next level.
“It’s great for me because I get to do dishes that I don’t always cook. If the wines that week are from a certain region, I’ll try to skew the recipes with that style.”
As a bonus, Ms. Kelly strives to include as many gluten-free items on Proper’s menu as she can.
Need another reason to make it out to Proper on Wednesdays? All wine bottles are half price and featured wines can be ordered for pickup the following Friday.
If you’ve been interested in attending a local wine dinner but are discouraged by formality or high prices, Wine and Dine Wednesdays at Proper are just for you. Visit Proper’s Facebook page here to check out the restaurant’s weekly wine dinner posts. You can also view each week’s menu on Instagram here.
While reservations are usually not necessary at Proper, Angela and Paula recommend calling ahead to reserve your spot on Wine and Dine Wednesdays. Considering that the restaurant’s regular menu is offered alongside the wine dinners each Wednesday, reservations are greatly appreciated.
Don’t miss your chance to have some mid-week fun at Proper!
“It’s a nice way to get through the middle of the week,” Angela said with a smile on her face.
Check out these pictures from Proper!