Yesterday founder Craig Heffley opened the doors to Raleigh’s newest wine store – Wine Authorities – located downtown at Person Street Plaza (211 East Franklin Street). To celebrate the opening of their Raleigh location Heffley will host an Open House January 11th from 11am to 5pm. The open house will feature at least two food trucks, beer & wine tastings, and local product demos. There will even be a magician for the kids.
I had a chance to swing by the shop yesterday to take few pictures and sample some wine from the Enomatic wine machine. The shop has a great vibe with a fun lounge and bar area to sample beer and wine. I love their huge selection of affordable wines (all under $50) and great local product offerings: counter culture coffee, slingshot cold brew, big spoon peanut butter – just to name a few. The staff and owner were very helpful and friendly. I think this new local shop is a great addition to downtown Raleigh and I plan on being a regular there.
OPEN HOUSE – January 11th (11am-5pm)
Heffley and his friendly staff will pour a variety of wines and beers at the open house this Saturday. Their Enomatic wine dispensing machine will provide 24 wines for sampling before purchasing (1 ounce tastings range from 80¢ to $5). Visitors will also discover a wine-by-the-glass menu and cheese & charcuterie plates to enjoy in the indoor lounge seating and outdoor café seating.
Heffley, a longtime supporter of independently owned businesses, has invited local food and beverage entrepreneurs and vendors whose artisanal foods and brews will be available at the store regularly, to sample on January 11th.
At the open house, and on-going, guests will find local craft beers like the much-anticipated Ponysaurus, as well as Trophy Brewing and Crank Arm, Scratch Bakery’s crackers and granola, Yellow Dog Bakery’s breads, Greensboro’s Giacomo Santomauro’s charcuterie, Toast’s salad dressings, Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butters, Counter Culture Coffee in bag, Slingshot’s coffees, as well as local and imported cheeses. Food trucks will also be part of the festivities.
Fun for the Kids
Children are welcome to join in the celebration! Just like the Durham store, Wine Authorities’ Raleigh store will be a family-friendly wine store, offering a kids coloring table for designing little works of art that will be displayed in the store. A kid-friendly magician will also be on hand at the open house.
About Wine Authorities
Since opening in Durham in 2007, Wine Authorities has blazed a new trail in wine retailing. Eschewing big brands and critic-appointed ratings, Heffley has focused on a selective inventory, creative, informative and even humorous marketing, and wine education. As a result, loyal fans and national press followed; Wine Authorities has repeatedly won Durham Magazine and Indy Week’s “awards for Best Wine Shop, and in 2013 The New York Times’ wine critic Eric Asimov praised Wine Authorities as a “shop devoted to removing intimidation from the wine business.”
“We believe that our customers care as much about what they put into their glass as they do about what’s on their plate, so we don’t carry any factory made wines… only wines made by small family-owned wineries; and we’re excited to finally bring these wines to Raleigh,” exclaimed Heffley. And what’s more, Wine Authorities focuses on value and doesn’t cater to collectors. As a result it’s become a haven for drinkers of everyday wine, all under $50 a bottle, with the majority of their selection under $15.
Wine Authorities takes great pride in sourcing delicious, value-oriented wines and has even been quite successful as one of the largest retailers of artisan “bag-in-box” wines. Heffley continues to source delicious wines from small, estate-owned wineries in an effort to deliver hand crafted wines at an affordable cost – in the same way that he’s experienced at many tiny restaurants and corner markets in European villages.
Since education is at the core of their mission, free tastings will take place every Saturday and Tuesday, with Tuesdays howcasing more obscure wines, and regular classes providing an opportunity for more in-depth tasting and study, often with winemakers and importers – just as they are at the Durham store. Tastings at the Raleigh store will begin immediately after opening, and the first wine class, “Vine to Wine,” will take place in January.