Getting Serious about Wine

“I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine.”

-Pablo Neruda

There’s something almost poetic about wine, the way it unfolds across the palate—each sip a line, each glass a stanza, each bottle a narrative to the experience at hand. It’s not hyperbole to say so. After all, some poetry moves you, some is passable, and some you just plain suffer through. So it goes with wine.
From the earliest stages of planning Rare, we knew that while steak would wear the pants, wine would wear the crown. Passable wine had no place here. It was imperative that we be as meticulous in selecting, storing, and presenting our wines as we were with our beef. So, we looked for intelligent wines, the serious work of serious vintners, wines that paired well with our dishes and earned their place in the hearts of serious oenophiles. And, boy, did we find them—more than 300 to be exact.

Our wines are stored in a custom-made, double-barrier
Redwood cellar at a perfect 56.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Creating such an expansive wine list was no small task. Imagine walking into the New York Public Library and trying to select from its endless rows of books, the very best 324 to share with people who need, want, or know good literature when they see it. That’s what we did with wine, owner Jack Sosnowski leading the charge.

Ultimately we opted for wines that would roll eyes back into heads and be included in the dinner story on every retelling: The night we went to Rare and had that amazing 2011 Shafer One Point Five. If you love wine, you know what we mean. We mean rare verticals, like our three 1990s vintages of Ridge Monte Bello. We mean hard-to-find glass-pours of Silver Oak Cabernet and Jordan Chardonnay. We mean eight different large-format bottles of award-winning reds and whites, to be shared by everyone at your table.

Rare is about rare experiences, things you won’t find anywhere else in Madison. That includes personal wine lockers for customers who want sommelier-selected wines to be stored privately for them. Your personal selection of wines will be waiting for you, your clients, your friends, and your family any time you visit Rare


Come in for the Rare experience, and find wines you thought you’d never find on a Madison menu. Discover how a great dry-aged steak or lamb chops can be even more heavenly when eaten with a wine hand-selected as the perfect pairing. Prepare to have your eyes rolled back in your head, to have a story to tell, to experience the poetry of a truly great wine.

Interested in reserving a private wine locker for you or your business? Contact us today to learn about monthly and annual pricing and options.