It's Thursday evening and only Lori and I are in the Wine Cellar, both marveling at the absence of anyone else, despite the Spring Break crowds at the shops and parks a stone's throw away. Lori is the bar attendant, knowledgeable and chatty, and she tells me the Wine Cellar has been in its place, downstairs of the family restaurant Hook's Pointe for over 30 years. I'm stunned and I have to agree with Lori, this is Disney's best kept secret.
It's a cozy adjunct to other eateries on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel, located in the courtyard between the hotel towers. Parents like to pop in when their children are otherwise distracted and looked-after and many visitors buy bottles here to enjoy in their rooms. Hotel guests can't, however, order bottles from the Wine Cellar from their rooms. Room service offers different wines. The Wine Cellar is also available for small private functions, appetizers are available though they also make a prixe fixe menu available.
For the casual visitor, the Wine Cellar is pleasant enough. Soft jazz and warm light keeps the room relaxing. The wine list is strong though no where near as premium as the wines at the Napa Rose. California reds are heavily favored though there are also quite a number of whites, sparkling and dessert wines as well as couple of ports. While there seem to be more wines available by the glass at the Wine Cellar compared to the Napa Rose, it's still disappointing to see how few are available overall. All the same, the prices are much more reasonable, inviting a little more adventurousness. Aside from appetizers and dessert, the Wine Cellar offers complimentary breads, crackers and cheese, although the cheese must be put away by 8pm.
For the wine-curious the Wine Cellar offers tasting options of a flight of three wines in the same varietal (chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and certain meritages, etc) at fairly reasonable prices ranging from $11-26. Quite of few of the full glasses sound promising, particularly any meritage. Cinnabar's "Mercury Rising" from the Santa Cruz Mountains was quite delightful with an excellent mouth suffused with plums and cranberries rounded with violets and semi-sweet chocolate. A lovely and complex Bordeaux blend, this wine went well with the delicious calamari appetizer.
(Full disclosure: the calamari dish was provided free of charge.)
The Wine Cellar is located on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel at 1150 W Magic Way Anaheim, CA 92825. Operating hours are 5 to 8pm, Wednesday-Sunday evenings. Call (714) 956-6755 for more information.