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Pairing your neighborhood with a KC sommelier

Katie Hendley, head sommelier at NKC’s Sail Away Wine, offers up her best suggestions for local wine lovers.


Katie Hendley is the Resident Sommelier at Sail Away Wine.

Photo by the KCtoday team

Table of Contents

Imagine this nightmare before Christmas:

You’re about to head to a friend of a friend’s holiday party, the itchiest sweater you own is the only thing that fits + you’ve just realized you forgot to buy a host gift... now what?

Well, there’s no helping the first two (sorry, we don’t have that much Christmas magic) — but we do have a solution for any last minute gift-givers or ho ho hosts: a perfect wine pairing for their unique corner of KC.

Editor Maddie sat down with Sail Away Wine’s Resident Sommelier Katie Hendley to hear what she’d pair with the unique flavors of the city.

Will you accept this rosé?

Waldo — Merlot | “It’s smooth, easy to love, and has a nice maturity. The buildings + houses down there all have their individual personalities, but you can tell they all have the same stately sort of mindset.”

Downtown — Cabernet Sauvignon | “It can be from France, California, Australia, but you’re not taking the soul out of it. So I like to think that those of us who moved away from Kansas City and came back are kinda like Cabernet — we’re still ourselves but we reflect the places that we go really well.”

18th & Vine — Shiraz | “It’s kind of spicy, kind of jazzy and there’s a hint of tobacco in the air.”

Columbus Park — Chianti | “That’s Italian — you’ve got some brilliant restaurateurs over there and they’ve put an Italian name on the map.”

Rivermarket — Beaujolais | “A bohemian sort of feel. You’ve got fresh vegetable markets, young people moving into lofts, people on bicycles. It’s kind of a light-hearted wine.”

Country Club Plaza — Champagne | “It’s a little bubbly and bright and all the little lights on the buildings in December... It looks like a glass of Champagne.”

Overland Park — Chardonnay | “Lemon in the water and buttery Chardonnay in the glass — we’re opulent and we know it.”

Independence — Norton | “This is where the the California Santa Fe and Oregon Trail started. We had presidents living here. It’s got to be Norton, our heritage grape.”

Lee’s Summit — Pinot Noir | “We’re grown up, we’re paying bills, we’ve got responsibilities, but we’re still fun at parties. We can be a lot of different styles.”

The Crossroads — Orange Wine | “It’s funky. It’s historic. The art is open to the interpretation. It’s orange wine.”

Northland — Dry Rosé | “I do have a lot of Northland Moscato drinkers, but I think that dry Rosé can still capture some of those hearts while not turning off the people who like to drink dry. It goes with cheese and meat platters and Rotel. If you brought a bottle of dry Rosé to the party, I don’t think you would be kicked out.”

Parkville — Chenin Blanc | “Chenin Blanc always gives me this apple basket feel — and even though Parkville is not super farm-y anymore, their downtown still reminds me of where you would go for hay rides and apple cider.”

Read between the wines

If you’re still not sure what to bottle to share (or save for yourself), check out Hendley’s guide for pairings that will satisfy any party guest from girls night to game night. Gift a world of flavor with a trip to NKC’s Sail Away Wine (309 Armour Rd.) — which, thanks to their unique Wine Passport system, means you can experience whites, reds, rosés + other adventurous sips without committing to a whole bottle.

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