A new wine store has just opened its doors in Nevin Square in Edgartown, where you’ll find Vintage MV Wine & Spirits, a small yet well stocked wine and spirit shop. This is not just any wine store, this is the dream of owners John Clift and Sara Webber. Both John and Sara have an intense passion for wine.
Sara’s parents had a wine store on the Cape for 25 years, and John, many of you may know as the Sommelier from Atria. Also, these two were heavily involved in the successful Martha’s Vineyard Wine Festival which happened earlier this month.
John’s love affair with wine only started about 12 years ago, when he had his first glass. He was smitten. Soon after, he went to wine school in Rome, Italy, and wine became an integral part of his personal and professional life. His passion for wine is an endless, pleasurable journey.
Vintage offers an experience unlike any other on the Island. When you walk in, you’ll notice the reclaimed barn wood floors and clever wine bottle holders (made by the owners and Aaron Zeender), and the over relaxed vibe of the store.
Those who work here are knowledgeable and passionate about wine. They are there to help you find the perfect bottle. Everything in the store has been tried by Sara and John, and with that first hand knowledge, comes an understanding of the wine selection.
Also, with their history of being involved in wine, they have some really great relationships with people who make and sell wine. So, they have sort of an inside scoop in the wine world.
Vintage is a boutique wine and spirit store, with a focus on interesting and progressive beverages. Also, there are a number of different price points. For Sara and John, it’s about the wine not necessarily the price. Some of the best wines they encounter are really affordable.
I decided to put John to the test. I like to drink Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. What would he recommend for me?
First, he talked with me a bit about why I like the wine. I like it because it’s dry and crisp. Turns out, I like sauvignon blancs from Marlborough, New Zealand, where the soil has a certain level of acidity that lends itself to what I like.
I also learned that Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular in the United States which did not thrill me so much. A girl wants to be special right? I would rather drink something a bit more special.
So, John recommended, Gieson, also made in Marlborough, but at a smaller winery run by three German brothers. The wine from the smaller vineyard is simply amazing. John offered up a great, lesser known, more interesting alternative than just the same ole same ole. That is the experience that you’ll find at Vintage. Also noteworthy, the Gieson was $1 more than what I pay for Oyster Bay.
When I asked John what his current favorite was, he didn’t have a brand for me. His favorite is the next thing he is trying. He is always searching for a new, innovative wine or spirit. It’s the experience of trying new things and finding things that excite him and the customer.
The same is true with the spirits and beers Vintage features. The beers are specialty craft beers, many of which can be hard to find elsewhere, like MOA Blanc (rare and from New Zealand) and Pretty Things Beer- Fluffy White Rabbits.
Several of the spirits at Vintage are from smaller distilleries, like Old Ipswitch Rum from Turkey Shore Distilleries or Deep Eddy Handmade Vodka. Once again, John and Sara want to offer the customer the option for something new and interesting.
Another great thing about Vintage is that there will always be wine open for you to try, and of course, they’ll host a number of great wine and spirit focused events throughout the season. So, get ready to expand your palate. The only sad thing about Vintage is that it will only be open until the first week of November since they could only get a seasonal liquor license.
Vintage has quietly opened its doors already, but the grand opening is this Saturday, June 1st. Be sure to stop by for the opening party — there will be food by neighboring restaurant Detente and the Veuve Clicquot will be flowing.
Vintage has been a dream for John and Sara for so long, and its reality is pretty amazing! Vintage is open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 6 p. m. for now. Come July and August, it will be open until 11 p.m.
Also, Coffee Culture, their coffee house, right next store — the window above the champagne in this pic opens to store — will be opening soon. Can’t wait to check it out in a couple of weeks!
If you’d like to know more about the Martha’s Vineyard Wine Festival, check out A Grand Success – The Grand Tasting Of The Martha’s