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Wine Time

BIG Announcement:  We have finally gotten approval on our alcohol beverage license!!!  It is a conditional license until we get the build-out completed at which time the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will come inspect the space to ensure it meets all the requirements for serving alcohol to patrons.  So one major hurdle out of the way!!!

And we started tasting wines with one of our distributors – Republic National Distributing Company.  Some of them I have had before, one of them I have actually received as a media sample and written about.  It was nice to feel some familiarity with the wines.  Even though I have been writing about wine for a couple of years now, my palate is still very inexperienced and there are a lot of varietals and regions that I have never tasted.

Our distributor rep is very knowledgeable about the wine industry and is providing us with great tips about wine and running a wine bar.  For example, we should have mandatory wine tastings for our staff each week.  After all, you can’t make a recommendation on a wine you have never tried and you definitely would not be able to pair it with food.  Another great tip – how unique should our wine lineup actually be???  Will our patrons want something they are familiar with or will they always be willing to step out of their comfort zone and go for something obscure?  So we will carry some great go-to wines for those days and those customers who don’t want to have to think, they just want to sip and relax.

We tasted a variety of wines with Miriam, our distributor rep.  As we haven’t committed to any purchases yet, I won’t go into detail here about everything we tasted, but I do want to mention a couple that stood out.

The first is Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz.  I was fortunate enough to have received a media sample of this wine several months ago and was very impressed with it – then and now.

The other wine I want to mention is Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir.  Of the ones we tasted, this was my favorite.  Per the winemaker’s notes, this wine has aromas of forest floor, dark cherry, plum and mahogany.  It was wonderful, offering a broad mouth feel, enticing mid-palate and smooth lingering finish.

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I need to figure out a way to track the wines I am interested in carrying.  There is no way I can go back when it is time to actually order and remember what I liked or why.  And as with any new business, I have a budget for the wine inventory so I need to track my cost as I go as well.

Please check us out on Facebook!  We have t-shirts to give away and will be planning a soft grand opening for Facebook followers only – would love to see you there!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stefano
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 18:02:52

    Way to go, congrats! This all sounds very exciting news!
    Best of luck with the remainder of the process and don’t forget to add a few good Italian wines to your lineup! 🙂

    Reply

    • Red Wine Diva
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 18:05:37

      Thanks, Stefano!!! Any recommendations on Italian wines? I have had a few people ask us to carry them.

      Reply

      • Stefano
        Jul 02, 2013 @ 18:24:55

        Well, yeah, but there is so much good stuff to choose from, that you should give me a few pointers in terms of styles/price points that you would be interested in.
        For instance, I recently received samples from a US importer of a new range of Italian wines that they have just imported into the US and that are just being distributed nationwide these days. I am currently writing a post with my reviews which I will publish in the next few days: without spilling the beans too early 😉 it is a pretty interesting lineup, in my view.

      • Red Wine Diva
        Jul 03, 2013 @ 14:45:15

        My price points will vary as the people who frequent the bar will vary. My largest inventory stock will range in price form $45-$60. Definitely want to carry Vermintino and Sangiovese/Chianti

      • Stefano
        Jul 06, 2013 @ 13:48:44

        Apologies if it took me a while to reply, but have been traveling.
        That’s a very good price point, that will present you with many great options. If you have time, you may want to check out a few of the wine reviews that are on my blog, as many of the wines I review fall within or near your price range.
        Vermentino is a good choice: it is an interesting variety that can produce very good wines – you will have to look for the good ones among those that are imported into the US: Check out the Ammiraglia (my review will be published on Monday) and also some good ones from Liguria (like Aschero, Giacomelli, Lunae) or Sardinia (Argiolas, Santadi, Sella & Mosca).
        Sangiovese is of course a great variety, but you need to be mindful and choose wisely as many varietal Sangiovese wines need long term aging before they can be enjoyed to their fullest, and if they serve them too young chances are your clients will not like them as much because of their muscular tannins. Blends can be a good option to serve wines that are more readily enjoyable.
        Consider also other wines a bit more “off the beaten path”: there are many wonderful ones that have excellent QPR. In terms of regions, look for instance at the South of Italy (especially Sicily, Campania, Molise, Basilicata, Puglia) and Alto Adige. There’s plenty of good stuff for reasonable prices there.
        Have fun! 🙂

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