Reserve a bubble for your ‘bubble’ at Nineteen09

Heated, outdoor globes for your next night out on the town

Like nearly every other mask-wearing 20-something in Madison, my small group of friends and I were itching for places to go during the pandemic. The warm weather allowed us to picnic in local park or make reservations to hang out on the Memorial Union Terrace, but we knew our days were numbered before the chillier temperatures set in.

As a group we had been looking forward to exploring the restaurants and bars beyond campus this year; each of us freshly 21 years old and nearing the end of our Badger days. But now, even in October, there was absolutely no way we were going to the bars.

Still, we were incredibly sick of hanging out in our three-apartment bubble.

So when we found out about Nineteen09 — a wine bar, gift shop and event space that opened in Cross Plains last year — and its globes, I was ecstatic. We hopped online to pick a date and time for our two-hour globe session, and frankly spent much of the week obsessing over which and how many types of cheese we should pack for the excursion.

The reservable garden globes are heated and filled with cozy seating. Guests can bring their own food to pair with any of the wine or cocktails available inside. We threw together a DIY charcuterie board, grabbed the game Bananagrams and piled in the car for our first outing in months.

It started to drizzle just as we stepped inside Nineteen09’s main space, and we were instantly greeted by the ladies in charge. The sleek interior has a lavishly modern bar and seating areas next to the gift shop, with fruit trees and barrel decor lining the gorgeous wood floors.

The shop is filled with unique goodies to give or keep, like weekender bags, jewelry and drinking accessories. And the quaint venue’s high ceilings and brick walls would be the perfect place to host a wine night or birthday party in nonpandemic times.

Most important, however, was the booze. With 16 wines on tap — in addition to a collection of beers, ciders, seltzers and Old Fashioneds — Nineteen09 had our fun-filled evening covered.

We perused the wine options and landed on a bottle of Chardonnay, each snagging our own unique crystal glass on the way out to our globe. Once zipped up inside and sheltered from the rain, we didn’t hesitate to get sippin’ and take in the design details of the bubble’s interior.

A small fireplace and a chandelier definitely weren’t the level of luxury we were expecting, so we ditched the board games and lived out our wino influencer fantasies for the entire two hours. We ate, we drank, we took way too many pictures for our own good, and all in all had a fantastic time.

This little trip of ours wasn’t inherently that different from our other quarantine hangouts — where we had drinks, gossiped and played games. But we were motivated to leave the house in something other than sweatpants and drink from somewhere other than our White Claw-riddled mini fridges.

As my friends watched the rain run down the fairy-lit plastic siding of our globe a few minutes before our reservation ended, I became even more grateful that these friends are in my bubble — COVID-19 or not — and that we can enjoy these little things together and safely.

Sam Jones is an intern at Madison Magazine.