Eighth & Hays is a premium wine bar located in Homestead, PA, just a stone's throw from the popular Waterfront shopping district.
While this one offers an array of high-end wines for sampling, the bar does a fantastic job balancing their offering with more conventional wines, beer, and cocktails- perfect for all drinking interests and budgets!
Sample Premium Wine Without the Bottle
Eighth & Hays stands out among local wine bars in that they have two distinct wine menus.
The first features house wines, which offers conventional wines you'd expect to find at most major bars and restaurants. Wines here range around $8-$12 per six ounce standard pour, and are generally low to mid-tier selections made for their price.
What sets this one apart is their “climate controlled wine” menu which features high-end wines that are typically only available by the bottle elsewhere. Wines in this category have four options for guests: one ounce tastes (generally a couple dollars), three ounce pours (about $8-$10 each), six ounce glasses ($16-$20), and of course full bottle pricing at around $60+ each.
At first glance the prices for the premium wines do have a bit of a sticker shock. But when you look at it a bit further you begin to understand that the pours are roughly equal splits of the bottle price.
So it isn't so much saving money on a glass basis but rather getting to sample a nice bottle of wine without purchasing it outright as the climate controlled chambers allows the bar to store the bottles longer once opened.
During our visit our group of friends did a split between house wines, three ounce premiums, and six ounce glasses, and even our fledgling wine pallets could pick up striking differences between the two wine categories. (We're not going to get into the particulars of the wine here, if only because we suspect the features rotate too often for you to try the ones we did.)
Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Most certainly– if you like a fine glass of wine from time to time, that is.
Eighth & Hays also Has a Decent Food Menu
We visited Eighth and Hays to primarily check out their wine bar, but the food menu caught our eye once we arrived as it included an array of options from cheese plates, small snack plates, sandwiches, to even pizzas from their brick oven.
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As we were with friends we opted to get a little bit of everything including a cheese plate featuring four crumbly cheeses that change periodically (applewood smoked cheddar, port derby, irish porter, and sage derby), a small plate of ground beef stuffed banana peppers (that was sufficiently spicy), and their pear & blue pizza made with crisp pear slices, blue cheese, pepper bacon, green onion, and bleu cheese creme fraiche.
The flavors of each were surprisingly strong (especially that pizza) which made for good counterpoints to all the wine we tried.
This was an added bonus to us as we envisioned a spot that would have more snack focused items, like the cheese plate, than a nearly full menu. The word nearly is key here as the menu is on the smaller side while still being large enough to provide options for those who visit for the wine and want a decent meal.
You may not visit this one for the food alone, but once you're there the food menu should certainly be a consideration.
In the End, a Premium Wine Bar
When it comes down to it, Eighth & Hays focuses on the premium wine experience for those who want to sample high-end wines without jumping into buying bottles like you would do at most restaurants.
Your bill will be reflective of this, but the bar does a great job providing cheaper options to cater to all budgets so you can just as easily visit this one with a group of friends and not have to worry whether or not everyone can afford the premium options.
For that fact alone we will return more in the future!
Eighth & Hays is located at 130 W 8th Avenue at the intersection of Eighth and Hays (aha!) in Homestead.