Inside Covington’s Ripple Wine Bar, an Approachable Invitation to the World of Wine


Ripple Wine Bar is one of those sweet little spots that hits all the right notes. Too often, restaurants chase a gimmick or sweat it out over laborious minutiae. That’s not to say Ripple doesn’t pay attention to the details, but husband-and-wife owners Matthew and Kathleen Haws don’t forget the bigger picture, either. Which, for them, is simple: good wine, lots of it, paired with good food.

“Small-plate restaurants have definitely taken off, and that concept is nothing new, but pairing it with a significant wine program is definitely new, especially to our area,” says Kathleen of the impetus behind Ripple.

She and Matthew are both wine fans and found a need to commit to a fine-dining experience to get the kind of wine variety they were looking for when dining out. But Ripple is more of a boutique restaurant, while maintaining a full-service experience.

The bar at Ripple offers 40 varietals, many of which are served via a sleek, stainless steel Cruvinet system (“the Porsche of Cruvinets,” according to Matt) that accommodates 29 wines. A Cruvinet uses nitrogen to extract the wine, ensuring next to no oxygen gets in the bottle, keeping it fresh for up to three months.

Wine at Ripple comes by the glass or half glass, bottle or half bottle. Ripple also does a $10 half-bottle happy hour (4-6 p.m.) for gun-shy consumers or folks dining solo.

“We’re able to offer some high-end wines at more of an affordable price. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to the entire bottle; you can order a half-glass,” Kathleen says. “You’re tasting a quality wine that otherwise you may not have been able to try somewhere else, and you’re not breaking the bank. After you have the opportunity to try it and you know that you like it, maybe next time, you might buy the bottle, and you might introduce your friends to it because you were able to try it on a smaller scale.”

The name is inspired by the Grateful Dead song “Ripple,” but it goes beyond that.

“The lyrics sort of speak to our journey of opening a restaurant,” Kathleen says. “There’s (a line that says), ‘Reach out your hand if your cup be empty/if your cup is full, may it be again’ and we just think that’s such a great lyric to live by as we run our bar. We want to fill your cup, not only with wine but with knowledge. We want it to be an experience, we want it to be fun, we want you to enjoy your life through your experiences, especially here.”

Ripple Wine Bar, 4 W. Pike St., Covington,

| Photos by Hailey Bollinger