By Laurelle Walsh
Winthrop’s new wine shop, the Wine Shed, is a place for “all levels of wine appreciation,” said co-owner Meghan Sullivan.
“We’re still educating ourselves about different wines and we’re excited to share the process of wine education with our customers,” she said.
The store’s shelves are arrayed with wines from Washington, Oregon and California, as well as seemingly every wine-producing region of the world — South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and even retsina from Greece.
Framed posters on the walls illustrate types of wine, how to describe flavors, food and wine pairings, and wine growing regions.
“We’d like to help people learn the vocabulary of wine, to describe what they’re tasting,” Sullivan said.
“But this is not a hoity-toity place,” said co-owner Dave Swenson, who will be running the store. “I can’t pronounce half the things on the shelf.”
The husband-and-wife team are cooks and food lovers who started the Rocking Horse Bakery in 2005 and ran it for five years. They’ve enjoyed fine dining around the United States and Europe, but really appreciate “delicious foods prepared simply,” Sullivan said.
“Somebody said, ‘What do you know about wine?’” Sullivan recalls. “Well, we know what we like and we’d like to find out what other people like as well,” she said. “This is a learning and growing experience for us too.”
“And we want to have fun doing it,” chimed in Swenson.
As soon as the Wine Shed’s permanent liquor license is issued, Swenson plans to offer tastings to customers. He would also like to invite wineries such as Nefarious Cellars of Chelan to come and do “pours” of their wines, he said.
“You can learn so much from spending time with a wine maker like that and finding out the science of how soils and altitude and climate all affect their wines,” Sullivan said.
The Wine Shed also carries “top shelf” spirits that Swenson has been unable to find in the Methow Valley: Kentucky bourbons, Scotch and Irish whiskies, tequila, rum, brandy and even a Seattle-made absinthe.
A beverage cooler will chill white wines and “hard-to-find” beers, Swenson said.
The store is located at 130 Riverside Ave., in the building that once housed the Trail’s End bookstore, cafe and video rental. The Wine Shed’s lofty space will also display wine-related art, racks and cabinets by local artists, Swenson said.
Four dedicated parking spaces and a level entrance are accessed from the gravel lot behind the building.
Store hours are 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., closed on Tuesdays. Call (206) 276-1381 for more information.