For more than eight years, Liquors at the Marketplace has decorated area bar carts and cellars with a staggering selection of hard-to-find liquors and more than 300 varietals of wine. Patrons can take center stage at cocktail parties, mixing up mojitos from bottles of premium 10 Cane rum, pouring glasses of wine developed by golfer Greg Norman, or smash bottles of Kendall Jackson chardonnay on strangers' boats in guerilla-style christening ceremonies. For Friars Club–style tea parties, the shop also stocks cigars and smoking accessories, and stays open on most holidays.
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Amid hanging lamps, rustic wooden tables, and exposed brick walls decorated with antique corkscrews, patrons of The Corkscrew Winery learn what it takes to make their own wine. Owners Kelli and Joe Carvalho walk participants through the process, in which students pick from hundreds of varietals before fermenting their concoction, which yields up to 30 bottles of anything from riesling to malbec. Clients can customize their labels to produce a memorable gift, a house blend for a restaurant, or a special wine for a wedding reception.
For 35 years, downtown Gainesville's Wine and Cheese Gallery has held court in a quaint white wood house that INsite Gainesville writer Jennifer Coleman calls "reminiscent of a classic French bistro.? Owners Bunky Mastin and Wade Tyler curate a larder with more than 3,000 varieties of wine, an international selection of cheeses, rich chocolates, and gourmet lunch items served on the charming patio bistro or inside at Panache, the shop?s restaurant.
Panache's chefs pull from the Gallery?s stock to harmoniously blend flavors in sandwiches such as The Normandy, which combines brie, apples, and cinnamon on french bread and is garnished with a miniature beret, and the turkey and havarti, which is balanced by an Adriatic fig spread. Patrons can also nibble on the quiche du jour or hide their faces from exes in soups that vary depending on the whims of the chef, with one recent creation involving sage matzo balls in the affairs of a ginger-chicken broth.
For Bradley and Jennifer Ferguson, winemaking was initially just a hobby. They fermented their first wine in their kitchen using blueberries plucked from bushes on the grounds of their family's farm. Proud of their creation, they shared the wine with friends and continued to make a new batch each year during blueberry season. Years of practice made the wine tastier and tastier. They decided to make their hobby into a profession, naming their company Bluefield Estate Winery.
Today, they brew three versions of blueberry wine?sweet, semi-sweet, and dry?as well as wines derived from other berries including blackberries and raspberries, and fruits such as peaches. Visitors to the vineyard can sample the libations, staining their fingers indigo as a reminder of a day spent picking blueberries and grapes straight from vines and bushes.