About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Wine Shoe: "Because it Fits"

This week, The Wine Guy had planned to blog about restaurant wine but that’s being deferred to an upcoming week so I can share some new friends I’ve met in the wine trade.

Last week, Mrs. Wine Guy and I traveled to Atlanta for a visit with our son who has resided for a number of years in the Castleberry Hill area of Atlanta (just southwest of downtown within a stone’s throw of CNN and, more importantly, the Elliott Street Deli and Pub). He had previously told us about a new wine shop opening in the neighborhood and mentioned he wanted to introduce us on our next visit. We had scarcely arrived before we headed out the door of his loft for the 3-block walk to the Wine Shoe, 339 Nelson Street SW, in the Castleberry Point building. (Also, conveniently on the way to the aforementioned Elliott Street Deli where an awesomely named sandwich, “The Dirty Bird”, awaited my ravenous intentions).

We found a small, delightfully appointed wine shop and tasting room (see photo). It offered a small (about 150 sku’s) but noble and well-rounded selection of wines. Mrs. Wine Guy and I selected a Sangiovese-Bonarda blend from Argentina while my son and his girl friend enjoyed a domestic Pinot Noir. Prior to the emptying of the first glass, it became apparent that the future success of the Wine Shoe would come not just from its “boutique” atmosphere and selection but also from the enthusiasm and passion of its proprietors, Nora and Shannon Wiley. These transplanted Kansans allowed their enthusiasm and love of wine lead them to opening the Wine Shoe in their adopted Castleberry Hill neighborhood. Why call it “Wine Shoe”? Well, as the Wileys say in their slogan: “Because it fits” and so do they. With regular tastings, special events, and a willingness to talk to anyone about enjoying wine, and even welcoming nearby residents to bring in their dogs, they offer a unique kind of shop that does indeed fit into the urban neighborhood lifestyle. They even hosted a “Paws for Wine” event for dog owners (These people never tire of word play!)

Suffice it to say, considerable time was spent that evening sharing wine stories and thoughts on selling wine. Nora and Shannon, upon hearing Mrs. Wine Guy and I were on our own the next day while our son tended to business, invited us to join them at a trade show. The event was hosted by one of their suppliers, Grapefields Fine Wine Distributors. We spent a delightful day tasting some new wines, revisiting some old favorites, comparing taste impressions with the Wileys and making a few recommendations. We even spent some time with Mike Hill, the Grapefields rep for Wine Shoe. Mike is enthusiastic about his client and can be found at the Wine Shoe on a somewhat regular basis hosting tasting events for patrons.

Future visits to Atlanta will almost certainly include a return visit to the Wine Shoe. I certain I’ll always find some familiar but also something new each time I visit. I encourage you to do the same if you get the opportunity. One word of caution, there’s a third Wiley on the premises, a dog named Baron who will entice you into a never-ending game of ‘fetch the ball”. If you’re up for fun and wine and in no hurry, drop in the Wine Shoe….because it fits!

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