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.
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.
Since 1980, Time For Wine has colored the palates of wine lovers with a wealth of limited-production vintages from around the world that are typically unavailable in stores, restaurants, or juice boxes. Personal consultants continue the cherished traditions of European wine tasting by helping clients select a choice bottle with thorough sampling, taste analysis, and metaphors that may involve freshly cut grass or the musk of a well-travelled nickel. The boutique's sommeliers can make house calls to customers to host tastings of wines such as Italian chianti and South American malbec, and mail orders of finely aged grape juices ship within 24 hours. Customized labels grace specially ordered bottles with family photos, family crests, and personal messages.
Chefs at La Casa Della Pasta embellish pastas, gnocchi, and desserts made in-house with handfuls of imported Italian ingredients, including eggplant and mozzarella. As owner Enrique Tangari told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011, "I import everything, flour, water, tomatoes, cheeses … to make any kind of pasta dish you want, on the menu or not." His commitment to imported flavor also extends to the restaurant's drink menu, which features wines made from such traditional Italian varietals as pinot grigio, sangiovese, and nebbiolo, as well as beers with suspiciously small amounts of fermented grape juice.