Two and a half years have flown by! South Street Wine Cellar has grown beyond my wildest dreams and I have every one of you to thank. Where did this time go? I always say I'm going to work on this blog. I guess today is the day. Better late than never.
It seems just yesterday I had wrapped up my first Christmas wine tasting and was trying to decide how to make it bigger and better in the years to come. The format for this and many other events is ever changing. For that matter, so are the wines. I've learned your tastes. I've watched your tastes evolve. I've seen you welcome new wines into my shop, and therefore into your homes. Thanks for trusting me to always bring new and exciting products to your porches, dinner tables, family and friends gatherings and so many other occasions.
We all hate the articles and blogs that spend 15 paragraphs building up to what the headline or title baited us into reading so let's jump to it.
MoscaBerry was introduced first and was a huge success. Sadly the manufacturer discontinued this product. However they offer a Mango option. Sparkling Moscato d'Asti and Mango juice premixed? Hello, breakfast in a bottle. This is my go to brunch wine. You know, on the rare Sunday I don't have to change out of my pj's. I'm not a sweet lover but I'll make an exception.
NEWS FLASH I just brought this one in this winter and shared it first at the 3rd Annual Mingle and Jingle and seriously worried I'd have enough supply to carry me through two nights tastings and sales. MoscaMango sounds good to you but you prefer peach? Meet your new best friend in a bottle!
Ok. Every wine that hits the shelf has a story. Some begin with you. Or someone like you. So one day I receive a message from a friend in Columbus whose Mother In Law absolutely loves this wine but can't seem to find it anywhere. I do some research and find that it comes from a small boutique distributor in Cbus. I make a call. Meet a new rep, start up my account, and quickly find out this item is preorder only and I just missed the order deadline. Not to worry, my new sales rep is eager to please and scores me several cases. Enough about the story. This is that rare occasion I trust my instincts and buy it before I try it. It's red, it's sweet, it's from Germany and I swear it has wings. This wine will come and go but rest assured I'll keep it coming in as often as possible. With just two bottles on the shelf, I can't wait to receive my next shipment this Tuesday.
4) MIO Sparkling Sake
I swear this is nothing like you've ever tasted before! This October while attending a trade show I stumbled upon this mysterious bubble. It was practically one of those "I double dog dare you" moments trying to get my better half (you know the guy... the one who always gets kisses when he walks in the door and makes strangers question just what kind of business I'm really running haha). So anyway, after much prodding he tentatively tasted it and was as pleasantly surprised as I was. Light, tight little bubbles, soft sweetness without overdoing it. If you've been one of the lucky ones who's popped in at the right moment when I'm offering a sample, you can vouch for it.
5) Cranberry Wintry Nights
The Winery at Versailles has done it again. Their seasonal customer favorite Wintry Nights now has a sister! An apple wine with Cranberry flavor has been flying off the shelf. What says Thanksgiving and Christmas better than Cranberry.
(This is a toughie to narrow down to 5 because I'm a serious dry wine lover-especially reds but I'll try to throw in a couple whites too)
1) Fantini Rose' Spumante
Or any rose' for that matter but this one in particular is my absolute Go To Holiday bubble. It's elegant, dry (not sweet at all), with a nice balance of cherry, raspberry and wild strawberries. What do I love about this wine? It literally pairs with anything. Turkey. Ham. Sweet potato soufflé (my aunt Luci brings to every gathering). Desserts. This wine also makes an excellent hostess gift. It's clear bottle, embossed oval white label and the genuine Swarovski crystal on the label screams "I'm a classy wine that I didn't buy at the grocery store. I spent time selecting this beautiful wine for you." Yes, this is the wine I DO NOT share during the Holidays. Get your own bottle.
2) Trivento White Orchid
This is a white, dry, still (not bubbly) wine. The Torrontes grape offers flavors of pineapple, banana, apple and orange peel. It's a softer wine than chardonnay or pinot grigio. Trivento makes some of the best affordable wines coming out of Argentina. I'm always excited when I open this one and my customers fall in love with it. If you're pairing with your meals, go for something spicy or Asian.
3) Chateau Julien Royalty Red
Just stocked for the Mingle and Jingle, I insisted on this wine after tasting it with my rep from a small boutique distributor out of Cincinnati. I'm a red blend junkie so this was right up my alley. 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet, 10% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot. Need I say more? It has a great balance of dry with a touch of sweetness that will pair well with chocolate and desserts. Year round, pizza and barbeque will pair exceptionally well. Of course, we don't all pair our wines with our meals. We drink it because we like it. I have several bottles in my home. It's that good!
4) Pinot Noir
I'm a Pinot Noir fanatic. When I tried to narrow down the Pinot's, I just couldn't do it. Pinot Noir is excellent with Holiday meals due to its lighter body and versatility. Virtually every Pinot Noir on my shelf is also on my home wine racks (yes plural). Boen, Kenwood Russian River Valley and La Familia Secret are just a few. This is an easy red to have on hand for visitors if you're just not sure what your visitors will like.
5) Rotation Cabernet
Rotation red wines have been on my shelf for well over a year and are my consistent best sellers. Merlot, Red Blend and Cabernet... these wines never disappoint and they're $9.99 a bottle. Vinted in Napa (I guess they can't call it a Napa wine unless it's Vinted AND bottled in Napa--if anyone can verify my assumption let me know). The quality of these wines are far superior than their price tag. These are my favorite glass pours in the shop to offer my dry red friends however I seldom open them any longer because I can't keep it in stock.
So, there you have it. A great list of wines for any palate for serving or giving. Need a few more suggestions?
Biltmore White and Red Christmas Wines
Wintry Nights (original)
Dearly Beloved Red Blend
Marie de Beauregard Vouvray white
Macon Villages Drouhin Chardonnay unoaked
Sterling Vineyards Malvasia Bianca (sweet white) CLOSEOUT SUPER INEXPENSIVE
Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir CLOSEOUT SUPER INEXPENSIVE
Versailles Chocolate Cherry Dessert Wine
Prisoner Red Blend
Blindfold White Wine
Centorri Moscato is always a customer favorite
Serena Sweet Red
NEW ITEMS ARRIVING THIS WEEK OR RESTOCK ITEMS:
Christmas Tree Bottle Riesling arriving 12/12/17
Purple Toad Chocolate Strawberry Wine arriving by end of week 12/12/17
Restock Dornfelder arriving 12/12/17
Restock Purple Toad Lauren's Blackberry arriving by end of week 12/12/17
Restock Purple Toad Paducah Harbor arriving by end of week 12/12/17
Restock Purple Toad Watermelon arriving by end of week 12/12/17
Restock Wintry Nights Regular arriving 12/12/17
So there you have it. I hope to continue the blog on occasion. Let me know what you thing.
It was inevitable. After years of wine consumption, shopping for wines became almost a burden in our small town. With the largest wine selection being three small rows of local, California and International wines, picking was slim.
With a vision and unlimited ambition, I quit my day job. The job that almost paid the bills. The job that gave me .74 hr raise over 6 years. The job I went to bed Sunday night dreading. I turned in my notice after one last check that there was in fact a liquor license available in my city to serve wine.
No business is born without a solid business plan. Knowing the local economy, I knew my business must have several avenues to generate revenue to pay the bills at the shop and provide for my personal needs as well. So I set out with signing a lease on a historic brick and mortar storefront and setting up the utilities. The former barbershop needed a lot of TLC to transform the building into what would become South Street Wine Cellar. With years of DIY Remodel Shows viewed, I was ready to tackle my project.
One cold January morning I set out to pick up the keys on my newly rented building and met the water department to turn on the water. Almost instantly my heart rose into my throat as water poured from an overhead area built to hide plumbing pipes in a building that was built before indoor plumbing was the norm in commercial structures. I had not prepared myself for this. I didn't know what to do. What to do first? My plan had a wrench in it and I was at a loss. This was not in my budget and I suspected I would say that in my head time and again before the remodel was finished.
On the way to my building that January I called my plumber to meet me and take a look at the plumbing when the water was turned on. He never showed. My neighbor shop owner and liason to the landlord brought over a couple, the husband whom wanted to take a look at the building he used to get his haircut in as a child. I learned that day and in the following months, the scope of this couples expertise and talents.
Working alongside each other we forged ahead. Without them, everything would have been an uphill battle. I needed to follow laws and regulations from the City Building Department, Fire Department, Zoning Department, the County Health Department and of course the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control. I learned what was required of me and they made it happen. They offered great advice on virtually every aspect of the project. I would have been absolutely lost (and sunk) without them. They have become very dear friends. I consider it their shop as much as mine.