I had an opportunity to visit Paducah, KY for a wedding recently, and found some great watering holes around town. Here's my take on Drinking in Paducah!
According to Wikipedia, "Paducah is a city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio Rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. The population was 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census. Twenty blocks of the city's downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places."
This city has quite the fascinating history, which is actually displayed via huge murals painted across a massive flood wall (seen in the picture). If you're passing through the area and like American history, be sure to check the flood wall out. Then, hit up these three spots for drinks.
Stop One: Purple Toad Winery, 4275 Old US Hwy 45 S, Paducah, KY 42003
I stopped here first because it was the first place open at 10:30, plus it was near my hotel, and also because I like wine. One thing about going to wineries around the country is that you just never know what to expect in terms of the facilities, the area/region, the atmosphere, the person pouring your wine, and of course, the wine! Obviously Kentucky is known for its bourbon, not its wine, and from our general experiences, we'd have to agree. Kentucky (like Indiana) is not wine country. The one thing that places that aren't great wine places can do though, is make sweet wine. I'm pretty sweet as it is, but as my brother-in-law will tell you, I also am "a bit fiendish for the sweet stuff." I don't deny it. I call sweet wine breakfast wine, and I don't mean that as an insult. Breakfast wine is great lake-drinking wine! I'm certainly not opening up an Old-Vine Zinfandel on the boat when it's 92 degrees outside.
Purple Toad Winery makes some damn good sweet wine, and they make a lot of it! Furthermore, it was easy to find their winery, the facility was quite nice and charming, and the staff was welcoming and friendly. My personal wine tasting philosophy and determining how much wine I'll buy is determined by two things: 1) If the wine tasting is free, I will always buy at least one bottle and 2) if the people are friendly and the wine tasting is free, I'll buy a lot more. If you charge me for a tasting, you better have really good wine at a fair price, or I'm not buying anything. If you'd rather make $3 or $5 off a tasting than having me buy a case of wine, I won't feel bad at all when you're out of business.
The staff at Purple Toad were engaging, knowledgeable about their own business, and friendly, plus their wine was good! Even though they classify it is dry, semi-sweet, and sweet, it's all sweet to super-sweet. I bought a case and it's been great to drink on the boat. I recommend paying them a visit, and put a few bottles in your cooler. purpletoadwinery.com/
Stop 2: Paducah Beer Werks, 301 North 4th Street