Checkered Past Winery is an urban Dallas wine pub known for its impressive selection of Texas wines and a menu inspired by southern Italy. Located in the historic South Side building in Dallas, Texas, co-founder, owner, and winemaker Sandro DiSanto is a first generation American passionate about wine making. Wine is in his blood: both of his grandfathers made wine in Sicily. He co-founded Checkered Past Winery with his brother-in-law Scott Relyea in 2015 with the goal of being a causal neighborhood wine bar. Sandro often sees his customers 2-3 times per week! I recently got to sample some of the menu. Here are my favorites:
Cheese and Charcuterie Board
This is not your run-of-the-mill board. Sandro sources his meats and cheeses from his own connections resulting in unique meats and cheeses that you can’t find at your local supermarket. The goat cheese is reason enough to order this board, which comes with three meats, three cheeses, two spreads, and assorted extras such as nuts, candied oranges ,and pickles.
Red Pepper Hummus
Sandro doesn’t care for hummus so he created something entirely unique. This smoky dish is much fluffier and lighter than your typical hummus and spreads easily on pita triangles.
The walnut, cream cheese, cheddar, and basil spread makes this bruschetta rich and creamy. Cured pork shoulder is topped with a light arugula salad.
Double Meat Flat Bread
Hot capicola, pork salami, and marinated tomatoes are smothered with mozzarella. It’s served piping hot and has just the right amount of heat.
Secret Menu Item: Deluxe Italian Panini
This panini starts out great and curiously gets better with every bite. Red pepper hummus, olives, onions, arugula salad, and three meats including an Italian mortadella make up this enormous sandwich. It goes great with Checkered Past’s Malbec.
Warm Double Chocolate Cake
A must for chocolate lovers! It’s rich, warm, and sinfully delicious.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Caramel lovers like my mama will love this! I didn’t leave one crumb behind of this buttery, insanely moist cake.
I have to give a shout out to this madeira. I don’t even like dessert wine and I loved this! It’s warm with notes of molasses and reminded me a bit of a really good rum. Ask Sandro to tell you the Madeira story if you visit!
Checkered Past Winery has all sorts of fun events throughout the week, including jazz on Thursday nights and Wine and Magic: an evening of libations and illusions with my friend Trigg Watson. (No relation.) Checkered Past also has a highly curated wine club that ships two bottles every other month. Sandro looks for hard to find wines and wines with a story for his wine club. For hours, menus, and event information, visit checkeredpastwinery.com.
“Wine is supposed to give you a sense of place.” – Sandro DiSanto
Disclaimer: Checkered Past Winery is one of my PR clients. My PR business is completely separate from The Rose Table and has no affect on my content here, but I still must disclose that.