Take one step inside and you'll be transported back to a time of bootlegging booze and the rhythmic blues.

The Wine Down, a classy new wine bar at 8666 Ruffian Ln., in Newburgh, that opened this September and serves a wide array of wines, from sangrias, merlots, roses, cabernets, Bordeauxs, Moscatos, Pinots and Chardonnays, all named after famous blues and jazz musicians like, Eric Clapton, W.C. Handy, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and B.B. King.

The Wine Down is owned by married couple Chya and John

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Colbert, who said they are aiming for an atmosphere that feels like a mix between a speakeasy and ski chalet, packaged into an elegant business.

Chya Colbert is from Owensboro, while John Colbert is from Evansville, but they have settled down and made a life for themselves in Newburgh for the past 13 years.

"So we got married," John Colbert said, "kind of looked for somewhere in between, and landed in Newburgh."

The Colberts had their own separate careers before opening The Wine Down, with John Colbert running a communications company for Mead Johnson and Chya Colbert running the vision center at Sam's Club. The Colberts said they originally didn't envision a wine bar, but just really fell in love with the look of the building they ended up purchasing.

"We thought it was interesting and kind of had this unique look to it," John Colbert said. "We started talking about what it could be and we'd been to a wine bar or two and we just thought, 'you know what, this could be a neat location for a wine bar.'"

John Colbert said they also wanted to have a place where people could relax, dine and drink in Newburgh.

"We also thought, 'we also live here, so when we go out, we usually have to go to Evansville,' " John Colbert said. "We were thinking it would be nice if there was a place in Newburgh that wasn't necessarily a restaurant that people could come and gather and meet and have some entertainment and sit around and talk, and of course, drink wine."

"We like wine and we like people," Chya Colbert said. "And so, this is a good way to do both."

John Colbert said they also have much more reasonable prices than people might think.

"We want to be known as having a really wide variety both in styles and in price points, so we have bottles from $250 down to $10," he said. "So one thing we've heard a lot of people say is, 'oh a wine bar in Newburgh?' That's probably going to be really expensive. And people have been walking in and been really happy."

John Colbert said you can order wine by the glass or bottle.

"And if you want to order a bottle and you don't finish it, we can send it out and reseal it," he said. "We can also sell you a new bottle to take home if you do really like something."

John Colbert said they also sell a small selection of craft beers, including Bud Light, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra, to appeal to other tastes.

"Because everybody's not a wine drinker," he said. "When we were renovating the place, we talked to the guys doing construction and we told them, 'we'd have some beers.' And they'd be like, 'OK, I'll bring my girlfriend in so she can drink wine and then I can have a beer or two."

The Wine Down also sells a few items on their appetizer menu including white corn chips with guacamole and salsa, creamy spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips, Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese and an assortment of flatbreads including mozzarella, Florentine and jalapeno cheddar. The Colberts' personal favorite appetizer? The charcuterie board, which is made up cured meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, nuts, crackers, bread, ale mustard and Jamaican relish.

They also serve some deserts to wash down your wine with including cheesecake, lemon Italian cream cake and four layer chocolate mousse cake.

John Colbert said he has always known how hardworking his wife is, but has loved seeing her in her element.

"Going into this, I had people come and ask me where she's going to be working when she left Sam's Club so they can come see her because of her customer service skills," he said. "She's been incredible -- she is the personality of this place. Every person who walks in the door gets the Chya treatment."

Patron Dawn Kopshever said she loves visiting the new wine bar.

"It's a great place to wine down at the end of the day," she said. "And a great place to start your night."

The Wine Down is open from 3 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

John Colbert said he loves watching new people walking in and discover the hidden gem that is The Wine Down.

"It's like taking The Newburgh Jazz and Wine Fest," he said, "and doing it 365."

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