Looking for a hidden weeknight party? Look no further than AMUSE Wine Bar, located atop Honolulu Design Center on Kapiolani Boulevard. Had I not been tipped off, I would have never found it, but now that I’ve uncorked this hotspot, there’s no looking back.
When you walk in, AMUSE appears to be your typical upscale wine venue — chic seating, a sleek bar that hugs the room and patrons noshing on cheese platters; however, you’ll quickly discover it’s so much better. Unlike other wine bars I’ve been to, AMUSE serves 80 different wines in dispenser-style tasting kiosks, making YOU the bartender.
If beer is more your style, there’s special beer tap tables that let you pour draft beers from two different kegs at your own leisure. If neither wine nor beer delight your taste buds (then why are you here? Just kidding …), AMUSE offers a full menu of original cocktails, including a tempting treat called “Moooi Drop,” an infusion of Absolut Citron and fresh lemon juice with a li hing mui rim.
An admitted wino, I went straight for the vino. I ordered a glass of 2010 Caposaldo Pinot Grigio, the perfect refresher for a hot night. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play bartender because I had not purchased an AMUSE Wine Card. Note to everyone: Learn from my mistake and buy one.
The Wine Card allows you to visit any dispenser you like. You can purchase a pre-loaded AMUSE Wine Card with any whole dollar amount of your choosing (minimum $20), which allows you to set a limit so you don’t overspend. This will be the first thing I do next time! AMUSE rotates the featured wines, so no matter how many times you visit, you’re always in for a treat.
AMUSE can be reserved for private parties and also validates parking for up to three hours, which gives you plenty of time for drinking your way through an entire wine card, as well as enjoying crudités from adjacent Stage Restaurant.