About a mile and a half north of the busy streets of downtown Gilbert sits an intimate wine bar that appeals to those with a quieter, less hectic agenda. You have to look for Peacock Wine Bar, its location is a bit hidden inside the Encore plaza at the southeast corner of Gilbert and Baseline roads. However, trust that finding it will be worth your efforts. The bar is surrounded by neighborhoods within walking distance and offers wines from all around the world, music and great food.
Owner Tracy Wallace reinvented herself after a career in behavioral health and speech therapy to explore a venture in wine. She was tired of people telling her what to do, she was ready to run her own show. She loved wine and began to recognize how much there was to it – wine can lead a person into uncharted waters and she was going in.
Wallace took every chance she could to develop her palate and research the many different types and styles of wine.
“I went to every wine bar I could find and would order wine that I didn’t recognize or couldn’t pronounce just to learn about it – I would always finish it whether I liked it or not,” Wallace said.
Most of her travels also incorporated wine education.
“I loved the extensive wine lists in cities like Boston, San Francisco and New York," Wallace said. "Their lists are so much more than six Cabernet Sauvignons from California. I knew I wanted to include wines from everywhere.”
During her investigative stage, Wallace would take note of what she liked and what she did not like – finding the right environment was at the top of her list.
“I wanted a relaxed feeling, an unrushed and welcoming place with nice chairs – not just another bar where you are asked if you want your check before you order another glass” she said.
The boundless research paid off and Peacock Wine Bar opened its doors in August of 2019. The name stems from her favorite bird, the Peacock.
“I was trying to decide on a name and my husband, Rich, asked what my two favorite things are and I said, 'wine and peacocks,' and the name was born,” Wallace said. “I always loved them for their strength and color.”
The first year in business is never without its challenges, but who anticipates being in the middle of a pandemic within the first eight months of opening?
“The biggest issue was we were so new. I didn’t have a chance to make my mark on the community yet. I was unsure, but not really scared though," Wallace said. "Opening a bar was the biggest chance I’d ever taken in life, and I did it. We were going to be successful.”
Peacock has tripled its business since the heart of COVID-19, but still taking it day by day and moving forward with new ideas.
Food is a big part of the attraction at Peacock Wine Bar. The menu offers an array of meats and cheeses to build your own board, smashed sandwiches, flatbreads, bruschetta and salads. Wallace loves to pair the Italian Smashed Sandwich, which consists of fresh bread with pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes, finnochiona and lettuce tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and topped with Italian seasoning, with a nice glass of Negroamaro from Puglia, Italy. They make their own hummus and dressings in house and all of their fresh breads and lavosh come from the Wildflower Bread Company.
In addition to the fine fare, there is always something happening at Peacock whether it be wine classes, events or live music. The wine classes are taught by yours truly. I coordinate with Tracy to provide interesting and educational classes that are interactive and entertaining. Some of the classes we’ve done so far include blind tasting, wines across the globe, California challenge and food pairings. Events at Peacock include anything from painting classes to cheese making to comedy and trivia nights. Wallace enjoys supporting small businesses and is always looking for local people to combine events. Private parties are welcome to book their events for the holidays as well as throughout the year. There is live music every Friday and Saturday and they are incorporating jazz nights on Thursdays – call to inquire.
Last, but not least, Wallace is proud of her staff and loves that they are all eager to keep learning about wine and to share what they know with customers. There is no end to what one can learn about wine, which is half the excitement for the folks at Peacock.
So, the next time you are looking for somewhere to enjoy a proper night out, consider signing up for a class or an event, or just come in to hang out, try new things and meet some fun and colorful people.
Peacock Wine Bar is located at 1525 N. Gilbert Road. For more information, visit www.peacockwinebar.com. If you would like a specific reservation, call 480-590-1586. Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m.; Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 1 to 11 p.m.