My favorite, local wine shop -- Vinously Speaking -- has had a lot going on in the last few months. The little shop, hidden in San Antonio's Medical Center, has entered into a new era. First, they celebrated their first anniversary, and now they look towards new ventures.
One Year AnniversaryOn April 11, 2013, Vinously Speaking celebrated their first anniversary with a special VIP event at San Antonio's Richter Co. The wine flowed at the open wine bar, tasty treats were enjoyed, and great tunes from DJ Phylo kept the party going. I wish I knew more, but I was unable to make it. Though I had my tickets and was all geared up to go, something very important came up that took me away.
However, I did get to go to the Grand Tasting at the shop that Saturday, April 13. The shop was packed with well wishers, friends, and new faces. Conversation often was louder than the great music -- again thanks to DJ Phylo. For Sean and I, we enjoyed sharing our wine experiences with many of the wonderful people we have met over the past year. This day allowed all of us to raise a glass -- or in this case a tasting cup -- to the new friendships and great times we have all had the great opportunity to share. This event made it clear: Vinously Speaking is more than just a wine shop, it is a wine home.
Yes, the people were great (when are they not), but I can't skip the wine at the Grand Tasting. There were two major wine bars -- a red bar and a white/sweet bar. The wines that made up the tastings were among the shop's top sellers, so, of course, these wines were favorites of all the regulars. And as usual, the wines showcased a diverse range of grapes and locales. Sean and I slowly enjoyed the great selection of reds. We even saw a few of the wines we tasted at some of our earliest tastings, as well as many from the most recent tastings. When we made it to the white bar (yes, we did things out of order), we actually tried a few wines we had missed. Sean and I had to miss the Portuguese tasting earlier in the year, and one of the Vinho Verdes was on the tasting bar.
A New San Antonio Wine Bar on the HorizonAnd the best news from Vinously Speaking has to be the future. In March, Veronique Cecilia Barretto and Melissa Unsell decided to take the shop to the next level: a wine bar. There is space for expansion -- as the spot had once been a wine shop and bar under two different owners -- and they have family able to help. So, a business plan for a wine bar was worked out, including the cost of expansion and how the bar would be run. However, the money to expand was a bit out of reach. So, now there is a crowd funding movement to fund the expansion.They are looking to raise $30,000 and have just over $5,000. More help is needed.
Through gofundme, the shop has set up chance for wine lovers to develop the San Antonio wine scene. To help, head to the shop's funding site and donate what you can.
I did get a chance to speak to Ceci about the plan for the bar, and it excited me. First, the goal is to keep the by the glass and bottle prices down. So many wine bars in San Antonio are rather expensive. A single glass easily runs $10 or more and bottles are often $40 or more. Well, that won't happen at Vinously Speaking. The wine by the glass would be more in line with the retail price. Glass price would be low enough to enjoy a few different wines without wondering if it would have been better to buy a bottle. As for the bottle price, it would be more than retail (the shop's retail) but not overly so. It was explained there would be a fee for the service (more like a corkage fee) on top of the retail price, but it wouldn't be outrageous.
Texas WineLately, a group from Vinously Speaking has been scouring the Texas Hill Country, seeking out great Texas wines at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, I don't know all of the new wines that are lining the shelves, but more Texas wine has shown up on the shelves. A blush from Spicewood Vineyards -- in Spicewood, Texas near Lake Travis -- is available. As the group continues adventuring into the hills, I can only guess as to which great Texas wines will find their way to the shelves at the shop.
The future looks bright for San Antonio's wine community. Vinously Speaking continues to provide a great selection of unique wines at reasonable prices; there has also been an expansion with the Texas wine selection (hooray!). And now, with a wine bar in the future, things look better. This is a good time for wine in Texas.