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Napa Valley vinyard experience recreated in League City's Historic district


Allowing red wine to breathe in a wide bottomed snifter.

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If dreams of escaping the Houston heat for a tantalizing wine country vacation have somehow eluded you, indulge yourself with the next best thing; Historic League City's own Three Oaks Wine Bar & Bistro.

Immediately upon entering this newly minted establishment, a surprisingly “Old World” wine country ambiance will begin to envelope your senses.

Although the subtle nuance's are hard to define, they resonate with a distinctive Napa Valley vineyard flavor–both outside as well as within.

From its Tuscany style stone archways and shimmering gold flecked granite bar, to the boldly contrasting palette of colors accentuated by strategically placed mood lighting, you will get the tingling sensation that you are walking into an Italian Baron's secret underground wine cellar, a dimly lit, yet sparkling treasure trove of select wines that will beckon and entice you.

With A giddy array of more than 1,000 wine choices, your only problem with the selection may well be in having to choose between them all. Luckily sample tastings are available upon request and pricing per bottle is within the affordable $20 to $100 range, on average.

If you find that your taste for wine country ambiance leans towards the openness of the vineyards as opposed to the mystery of the wine cellar–no worries–simply step outside to the festively lit, decked patio that lies nestled under the protective canopy and shade of 100-year-old oak trees. Rustling leaves and the lyrical sound of song birds coupled with the “clink” of your wine glasses & you will be transported to that quaint little vineyard maybe only visited before, in your dreams. A magical place that somehow simultaneously satisfies both the wine lover and the explorer in you.

It doesn't take astute observation skills to notice and appreciate that the proprietor's desire here was to create a haven of sorts; an unpretentious place for small intimate getherings of friends and fellow vinophiles. The owner, John Dawson, stated that he wanted his patrons and friends to feel as if his wine bar was simply an extension of his living room.

When pressed about how he would handle larger crowds when more people became aware of his little hidden jewel, he responded that the extensive patio could hold up to 90 guests, and that any more customers than that and he would have to open another location so as not to compromise the original intent.

Established in the shell of the building where a former pharmacy operated for 30 years is only appropriate John says, as he feels that Three Oaks Wine Bar & Bistro is also an apothecary of sorts. People come in to feel better, so we do our best to accommodate!

What few people know is that Three Oaks Wine Bar & Bistro is really a love story–inspired by a young woman John met when he was in his early 20's. She had a fascination with a certain $80 dollar bottle of Chianti that he feigned approval for, in an effort to please her. After much time had passed, and much wine “accidentally” spilled, he knew he needed to come clean with her. Knowing that she might take offense, and in order to hedge his bets, he decided to learn everything he possibly could about the intricacies of wine, the aging and barreling process, and the pairing of food and wine–going so far as to enroll in the Culinary Arts Institute in 2005. Not surprisingly, out of all that effort and desire to please, Three Oaks Wine Bar & Bistro was born.

And to that we say: Thank goodness for spilled Chianti!

So if you had all but given up on having an authentic wine bar experience without having to book a flight to Napa, you will be most pleasantly surprised and delighted with this little gem's offerings...no reservations required, but you can always call ahead to request special seating.

Signature dishes include: Crab Cakes with a basil cream sauce, Roast Beef Vignettes & Crab stuffed mushroom caps.

Ask for the Proprietor John Dawson by name and tell him Examiner.com sent you for the grand treatment!

For more:

  • Three Oaks Wine Bar & Bistro, 601 East Main, League City, 281.557.8466 
  • Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 4 – Midnight
  • Saturday from 4 – 1 a.m. Closed on Sundays
  • Live music by local musicians Fridays and Saturday night

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