A towering wine rack spans an entire wall and glimmers with more than 1,000 bottles. Across the room, a lineup of nitrogen-regulated Enomatic machines dispenses samples from 80 wines to be sipped, swirled, and theatrically spit while reclining on a leather sofa, or while sitting at the long wooden bar. Small, shareable plates populate Sarasota Vineyard's menu in the forms of cheeses, roasted olives, and prosciutto-wrapped figs, ideal for pairing with wines or barley pops from a list of 20 beers.
Bootleggers, a storehouse of brewing equipment and expertise, guides novice alchemists in their attempts to transmute vine-fruit into precious alcohol. Choose from merlot, cabernet sauvignon, port, or other select ingredient kits, the largest of which can produce up to 30 bottles. With the assistance of wine-making professionals at Bootleggers, customers will brew their wine on-site, where it will rest in glass carboys for four to five weeks. Afterward, the Bootleggers staff will lead patrons into a deep cellar, promising them a cask of amontillado. When picking up wines, patrons can either provide their own bottles or buy a bottle, cork, and label kit from Bootleggers (about $56-63).
Most Popular Service: Making handcrafted artisan wines
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Brands Used: Eclipse, Vintners Reserve Vino Del Vida, Cru Select, Island Mist
Pro Tip: Come prepared to learn, participate, and have fun in the making of handcrafted wines while tasting.
Besides making clients happy, what do you like most about your job?
Watching customers discover new wines to love. Many have tried wines that have become their favorite until they experience handcrafted wines with the knowledge gained from our staff. They discover why our wines are different from bottled wines they have purchased on the shelves, and the benefit of enjoying a more natural product lower in typical preservatives. Wines with a full fruit taste produce the "wow" factor.
Sometimes it's all about the little things in life. What supplemental courtesies do you include with your main services to leave clients with a smile on their face?
Customers love the ability to personalize their labels in our store. They share pictures of vacations, anniversaries, birthdays, etc., and get creative with their choices for their labels. They love having their label ready and waiting at their bottling appointment. They enjoy leaving with beautiful bottles of handcrafted wines perfect for gift giving and sharing with friends.
What aspect of your job, or the services you offer, most often surprises people?
Sharing knowledge of wine and the process that makes it fun.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our store is a relaxed environment perfect for tasting wine, sharing wine, and browsing for that perfect wine accessory or gift item for themselves or their wine-loving friends.
There's no telling who you'll run into on the simply named Beer Crawl?past events have been attended by stormtroopers, cowboys, and even a brace of rarely spotted Waldos. Thanks to themed costume contests that run the gamut from neon '80s wear to masked superheroes, attendees of all stripes race or meander between trendy area venues. At each one, they enjoy free beer and drink specials as DJs spin popular tunes and supervise games such as Flip Cup or Figure Out What Channel the Game Is On. Participating bars include World of Beer, The Lodge, and MacDinton's, among many others.
Starting from humble roots in his farmhouse kitchen, Keel and Curley’s founder, Joe Keel, started his winery in 2003 with just 10 gallons of homemade blueberry wine, made from the leftover crop of that year’s berries. Today, the company has grown to produce more than 20,000 cases of fruit-based ambrosias, including blueberry, blackberry, and seven fusion wines forged from a blend of fresh fruit and classic grape-based red and white varietals. After touring the winery's facilities to learn about the winemaking process, guests may sample vintages crafted from strawberries, key lime, and peaches while perched on tall wooden stools behind the bar area of the tasting room. They may also steal away to the outdoor wooden deck, which offers panoramic views of the green vineyards, tree-lined pond, and white gazebo, which plays host to wedding ceremonies and re-enactments of wedding ceremonies. The after-hours wine bar keeps guests entertained throughout the night with UnCorked events featuring live music, appetizers, and happy hour specials.
It may be the inaugural year of Tysons Fall Harvest, but it already has the docket to rival any well-established fall festival. This family-friendly event will keep kids entertained with plenty of activities, from pony rides and petting zoos to a hay maze and pumpkin carving. Those who need to brush up on their carving skills can sit in on demonstrations from master pumpkin carvers or head to the craft corner to paint or just hug a gourd that escaped.
Even without kids in tow, adults will have plenty to do, including visiting the wine and beer garden for unlimited samples when they purchase a tasting glass, as well as shopping a marketplace with pumpkins and fall decor. They might even consider dropping by Rocknoceros's set at the live-music stage; they might be a kids' band, but their acclaim has landed them gigs at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and the Kennedy Center. A portion of the Harvest's proceeds will benefit the Spirit of Hope Children's Foundation.