Archive for May, 2008

The Build-Out

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Things are moving fast behind the scenes, and it’s both daunting and exhilarating. We’re working with Sharon Celek of Celek Interiors, who’s been absolutely fantastic – the design for the shop & bar is looking really good, and having assistance dealing with all logistical things that need to happen for the build-out is invaluable. Now that we’ve got the design, we can start ordering furniture and shelving and having the bar and custom shelving built for us. (Soon our space will not look as empty as it currently does in the picture!)

Pre build-outAimee’s also working nonstop on health dept. meetings, point-of-sales computer system, working with market vendors to develop our food menu, sourcing merchandise, and too many other things to mention.

I’m still working from afar – I’m in CA preparing for my MW exam, and will be driving out after that’s done the first week of June – on coordinating our alcohol permit, getting our marketing going, and the really fun job of putting our wine inventory and lists together. I’ve been in touch with a few distributors thus far and have their portfolios, so I’m like a kid in a candy store. Let’s see, a Barolo here, a Kamptal Gr√ľner Veltliner there, and hmm, how many Rieslings do we want to carry? I’ll get a rough idea of what we want over the next couple of weeks, and then we’ll do some serious power-tasting once I arrive. (Trust me, it’s hard work, really it is.)

We’ve gotten really positive reactions from everybody that we’ve been talking to – people in Aimee’s spin classes at the gym, market customers who’ve seen our signs, friends of friends who’ve been spreading the word, etc – so we’re even more excited about our venture and how it will be received. Got some nice press the last couple of days as well – this article from and this one from Milwaukee Small Business TImes.

My favorite analogy about wine

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I was asked once why I was so interested in learning about wine, and after thinking about how to explain it for a bit, came up with the following analogy. Aimee’s probably tired of hearing it since I still use it whenever I’m asked.

Books & WineTo me, a glass of wine is like a good novel. (I was a lit major in college, by the way.) A person should be able to pick up a novel without any context or background and still enjoy the story. If nothing else, the book should bring pleasure. To me, though, if I know something about the social or political conditions the author was writing in, the context of references made within the work, what the author’s contemporaries were doing, literary archetypes, etc., the book became a much richer experience.

Same with wine. Anyone should be able to pick up and enjoy a glass of wine without knowing anything about it, and it should still bring pleasure. I got interested in the backstory, though – what made that wine taste different from another one – whether different grape varietal, region, winery from the same region, or even the same wine from a different vintage. It made it a much richer experience for me, and from then on, it was down the rabbit hole.

The analogy works for our business philosophy, too – if you want to just browse around with no assistance and pick up whatever you’d like (trust us, it’s all good), that’s great. If you’ve got questions about a wine in particular or any wine topics in general, want to create a custom flight to see the differences for yourself, or just want to chat – that’s what we’re here for.