The Study a lesson in fine wine, plates and provisions

The Study a lesson in fine wine, plates and provisions
The Study, a wine bar that recently opened on Marina Way in Richmond, was filled with happy patrons on a recent Friday night. (photos by Kathy Chouteau)

Kathy Chouteau

Richmond is HAPPENING. Want proof? Head on over to The Study, a wine bar that recently opened on Marina Way in Richmond, where The Rich Life spotted a full house of happy patrons on a recent Friday night.

The wine bar sprouted organically from owner Noel Diaz’ existing onsite winemaking business, Purity Wine, which set up shop at its location in 2017. The winery specializes in making “natural wine” with organic grapes and no additives, except for a tiny bit of sulfites.

“The locals would come in asking when I was going to open,” said Diaz, referring to the local demand for his winery to offer a wine bar or tasting room. “They wanted to buy wine. I didn’t want to have a tasting room because they tend to get static; I wanted a full wine bar, something that I could be interested in.”

And on that notion, The Study was born.

“I come from the restaurant business, I’ve run wine programs before so I know how that works,” said Diaz. “We’re natural winemakers, we have a studio…we’re artisans. And that’s why we call this The Study. The studio is where we work on the craft, The Study is where we study it. And if I’m going to be here, I want to be approachable, so I want to keep the prices reasonable so that you can come in and feel like it’s not such a splurge.”

“It’s not about the business for me,” Diaz added. “It’s about the human relationship.”

This reporter visited The Study on a recent “girls’ night out” and found it to be the perfect respite after a long and busy week. The wine bar has a cozy but tastefully decorated décor that gives the feel of relaxing in someone’s living room. The dimly lit wine bar exudes ambience; although it’s a wide open space, it’s divided into multiple conversation areas through the artful arrangement of comfortable couches and chairs, as well as tables in a variety of sizes. Groups there can enjoy their own space, yet still be part of the room’s overall vibe.

Noel Diaz

Our trio chose a long, tall table in a corner of the wine bar, next to some windows overlooking the streetscape. While we perused The Study’s wine and small plates menu, we sampled Purity Wine’s 2018 Barbera, a white wine made with grape varieties sourced from Lodi. Later, while we enjoyed the wine bar’s gourmet cheese plate, we shared a bottle of Purity Wine’s Verdelho, also a white wine with grapes originating from Lodi. Simply stated, both explorations of Purity’s wine were excellent and the cheese plate truly delicious.

Along with the wine and small plates menus, Diaz also sells provisions at The Study.

“I want to be the kind of place that when people are on their way home, they can stop in here and pick up things for dinner,” said Diaz. “Something like a dried pasta; I use Baia Pasta, which is organic and local—from Oakland—and it’s a really nice pasta. When I can, I’m trying to work locally.”

Along with the aforementioned pasta, Diaz plans to sell dinner fixings such as anchovies, tomato paste, garlic, onions, fruit, self-contained salads and tin fish imported from Spain.

“I come from the food mentality; food and wine have always been passions of mine,” said Diaz.

Overall, our group had a fabulous time at The Study and plans to return. This reporter highly recommends visiting soon because it’s definitely taking off. One major indication of this fact was the notable “under 35 set” seated in the center of the wine bar, clearly having the time of their lives.

The Study is located at 1401 Marina Way South, Suite 280 in Richmond. It’s typically open Thurs., Fri. and Sat. nights from 5-10 p.m., but it’s best to call first or watch its Instagram page (@thestudy_winebar) for updated hours of operation since it can change. For more info, click here.

Diaz is looking to hire a wine bartender/server, which will help him exponentially since he’s currently flying solo in operating the wine war. Interested applicants should be at least 21 years old and have an interest in learning about wine. Email Diaz at [email protected].