Oklahoma City is rightly known for some famous, full service hotels, and while we are quite proud of the Skirvin Hilton (built 1911) and The Colcord (1911), we are equally proud of the newly renovated 21C Museum Hotel and The Ambassador. When combined with another Oklahoma City icon, the Waterford in Nichols Hills, these five represent some of the finest lodging, service, dining and wine options in the metro. For conference attendees who are looking for wine lists of note, these hotels either have them or are located near a very good one.
The Colcord is home to Flint, a neighborhood restaurant that doubles as a hotel restaurant. Flint is one of the more beautiful restaurants in the city, and the huge patio sits at the base of the Devon Tower, which makes for an amazing view. While there, choose from a wine list that is stacked with domestic and imported options, especially Napa Valley and France. The by-the-glass list is divided into sparkling, rose, white and red, and sommelier Enis Mullaliu has put together an international selection that includes Argentina, France, Italy, and Spain.
Luke Fry manages the wine list at the Park Avenue Grill inside the Skirvin Hilton. Long the hotel of choice for NBA visitors, the restaurant and its sister concept, Red Piano Lounge, have an excellent selection of wines by the glass that focus on California, Oregon, Washington, and France. Fry has worked on paring the list down over the last year, so that he has a carefully curated selection of affordable, high quality wines. Nearly everything on the list, including Champagne, comes in at under $100 per bottle, and many selections are in the $35-50 range.
The Ambassador Hotel in Midtown has two by-the-glass lists, because they have two bars on site: one downstairs in the Viceroy Grill and one upstairs—with a view of the city—in the rooftop lounge, OBar. The downstairs by-the-glass list is all French, to pair with their European cuisine, and the selections range from Burgundy to Beaujolais to Chinon, Bordeaux and Rhone Valley. It’s a small, outstanding, refreshing change of pace. The upstairs list is heavily American, but sommelier Jeff Cole has added an amazing selection of wines from nearly every major growing region in the world, including Greece and Corsica.
The Waterford has long been a VIP hotel in Oklahoma City, and its proximity to Nichols Hills restaurants means that it has some of the best dining and drinking locations in the city right around the corner. Notably, the Metro Wine Bar & Bistro is regularly honored for having the city’s best by-the-glass wine list. Owner LaVeryl Lower handpicks each wine on the list—ten red, ten white, three sparkling, one dessert—and the list rotates five times a year, and sometimes she even tweaks it between scheduled changes. It’s impossible to say what she specializes in because the list is always changing and always on the cutting edge of wine in Oklahoma City. She sells by the ounce, by the glass and bottle, and you can even build your own flight if you want to depart from her recommended ones.
Finally, Mary Eddy’s at the 21C Museum Hotel offers two different size wine pours for its by-the-glass list. Wine fans can choose a standard six-ounce pour, or pay a couple extra dollars for a nine-ounce pour. The extra makes for a solid value and more accurately reflects what people actually think of as “a glass of wine.” It’s likely about what you’d pour at home. The list is a great combination of new and unknown (to OKC) wines, with a heavy emphasis on domestics, including Oregon and Washington.