The fictional shortage of club licenses (allowing a restaurant to serve drinks to customers not ordering food) continues, but I am glad that BTG got one.
BTG (By the Glass), a wine bar owned by Caffe Molise owner Fred Moesinger, is one of the most civilized places to open in Salt Lake City, which means all of Utah: its 50-bottle wine storage system allows patrons to order tasting portions of high-quality wine, elevating the drinking experience to a level our legislature and the DABC don't seem to understand. Until Tuesday, though, BTG had only a seasonal license, meaning it would have to close in October.
With the real club license, BTG is here to stay, as long as we support it.
Drinking in Utah has been defined mostly by the dominant culture—that is, the main consideration about any alcohol, even wine, is how drunk it makes you for how little money. Take a look at the top-selling alcohol in Utah, published by the Salt Lake Tribune a couple of months ago.
It's the same attitude we used to have about food—the ideal meal was one that left you overstuffed for the least money. Doggie bags for all.
We've learned a lot about appreciating quality over quantity of food; Salt Lake City has dozens of excellent restaurants. It's time we learned more about wine—the pleasure it can bring and the artistry with which its made and its near-inifinite variety—and a place like BTG can help us all do that, by allowing us to sip, compare and discuss.