Tag Archives: Winemaker

Missouri Wines in Kansas City Airport

17 Jul

‘Missouri Vineyards’ wine bar at Terminal B, Kansas City Airport

Yes you read the title correctly! Alongside Burger King and Starbucks, Missouri wines have somehow cornered a section of Terminal B at Kansas City Airport.  A new bar called ‘Missouri Vineyards’ , as if to reverse the norm in local restaurants where its Californian and French stuff, has a wine list that concentrates on Missouri vinos front and center and relegates other stuff to a section called,  ‘Additional Wine Selections’.  As my wife and I stumbled around the terminal with a couple of hours to kill because of the usual flight delay I really thought someone was playing an elaborate hoax.  Missouri wines can’t even make it into Kansas City restaurants, what are they doing here?  I shuffled through a list of people who may be trying to fool me…wine expert Doug Frost?  He’s a big supporter of Midwest wines and he travels a lot, often by plane, he’s a charmer, but how did he manage to pull this off?  Or perhaps my friend Danene Beedle, marketing manager at the Missouri Wine & Grape Board – could she really be putting that twelve cents a gallon tax on wine sales towards a wine bar at the airport? Stranger things have happened.

Okay what’s going on?

The fantasies cleared as the escalator took us up to this swanky wine bar with views out onto the airstrip where some of the more usual elements of airport travel were before us.  Like an elderly lady who was sitting at a table and offering her pizza to a family next to her – only she was also sipping a big glass of Missouri white wine.  And there were a couple of men hunched at the bar over glasses of a deep red wine – could that be Norton?  Several others, not quite hooked on the local vino, were sipping beers instead.  The friendly bar staff supplied a menu and I asked for a few details about this surprising airport drinking hole.  It turns out it’s the work of HMS Host, a large company that’s part of another large company: Autogrill, an Italian based, multinational catering company that’s  the world’s largest provider of food, beverage and retail services for travelers, most of it in airport terminals.  Europe’s in an economic crisis, Italy is next after suffering Spain, frantically trying to clean up its economy – could that explain why they forgot to put prices on the wine list? A minor oversight perhaps – but the old lady mentioned above, after downing her white wine, left the bar suggesting in a loud voice that if there aren’t prices on the menu the wines should be for free. Maybe she should have said it in Italian? But I kind of agreed with her as I paid the rather steep airport price of $10.53 for a smallish glass of Montelle Seyval Blanc.  But the menu does give a really nice history of Missouri wines from the 19th century glory days, to Prohibition, to the current revival and I was just amazed to even be holding a wine list dedicated to Missouri wines in an airport. Great stuff!

‘Missouri Vineyards’ wine-list

The only real hitch seemed to be the strange contraptions used to serve the wine that convert the wine pouring experience into something like pushing the button on a soft-drink dispenser to squirt out your soda.

The bartender struggles with the wine dispensing contraption

The wines are all kept in an acclimatized fridge and the idea is the bartender simply pushes a button and out sloshes the chosen wine through a tube and into a glass.  If it worked.  Our poor bartender had a lot of trouble getting the machine to part with the wine and I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be if she could’ve just opened the bottle with a corkscrew and just errr, poured it? The same machines are used at Cellar & Loft, a wine bar in downtown Kansas City (where at least one of the wines is an incredible $30 a glass – but we won’t go into that! They do have free wine tastings so I guess that makes up for it)  and funnily enough we had the same experience there where the bartender ended up giving up on the machine and pulling the bottle out to pour it with a human hand. Luckily that delay allowed us time to realize we’d accidentally chosen the $30 a glass option and instead get the $8 a glass option.  But, back at the airport at the Missouri Vineyards bar…it turns out that Lambert-St Louis International Airport has had a ‘Missouri Vineyards’ bar since 2009!  See: http://www.hmshost.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Lambert-St.-Louis-International.pdf  What does this all mean? Comments very welcome, I know there is one reader out there somewhere.

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Midwest Wines vs The Rest of the World

20 Jun

Tomorrow, Thursday June 21st from 730pm on Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) it’s the battle of the grape.  Two blind tastings, one for reds and another for whites, will determine if wines from Missouri and Kansas can compare with the best wine making regions in the world.   The show also tackles the issue of why most restaurants in Kansas City (and in cities all over MO and KS) are happy to serve local food, but don’t serve local wines.  The blind tastings will help determine if the preference for Californian, French and other international wines is actually fair and based on quality and customer preferences, or just a result of inertia, snobbery, ignorance – or all three.

White paper bags look quite classy don’t you think?

Surely if French and Californian wines are so good and the local wines so poor, the blind tasters will prefer those? The restaurants will be proved right afterall…but if MO and KS wines do well hopefully it will be a small wake-up call to consumers and restaurants alike.

So tune in to KCPT on tomorrow! Or come to Belvoir Winery in Liberty where we’ll be watching the show.

Lucinda, Stretch and Katie Van Luchene rehearse raising their numbers

I tried hard to make this a fair contest.  The five reds and five whites in each tasting cost between $12 and $20 retail, except for a ‘wild card’ that could cost anything.  Two of the wines in each red or white tasting are from MO or KS, one is from California, one from France  and one that ‘wild card’ that could be from anywhere.

The basis of prejudice against MO and KS wines is often based on their tendency to be sweet.  People seem to think that sweet is all the Midwest does well and discount the quality dry stuff that has emerged and is emerging all over the place.  This tasting will be meeting Californian and French wines on their own terms: all the reds competing are dry and all the whites are dry or semi-dry.

I was also conscious of how the order in which the bottles would be tasted could confer an advantage.  It is probably not ideal to be the first wine tasted, or the last.  The order of the tasting was determined by me reaching blindly into a case where I’d place the bottles and pulling the bottles out, lottery style, one by one.

The bottles were placed in white paper bags and each labelled with a letter – A to E.

From left to right: Nick Haines, KCPT host, Stretch, Lucinda, Stephen Molloy, Katie Van Luchene, Eddie Kennison and Doug Frost.

The 5 blind tasters were chosen to be widely representative of wine lovers and to be fun – there’s a mixture of celebrities (Eddie Kennison and Stretch), wine and food experts (Stephen Molloy and Katie Van Luchene) and Lucinda, a young woman and regular customer at Belvoir winery, chosen to represent ‘normal’ people (possibly like you?).  They all like a wide range of wines.  Overseeing them and to offer his analysis, wine brain and expert, Doug Frost.

The blind tasters are not comparing the wines to each other, they’re just making a very simple judgement: how much do they like each wine and why? In other words, how does the wine they’re blind tasting compare to their idea of the perfect white or red?  They mark each one with 1 to 5 points, 1 being ‘not to my taste or ‘I don’t like it’, up to 5, which means ‘excellent ‘ or ‘I love it’.

So tune in! Will this be a humiliation for the Midwest wine industry?  Or will this be a case of Bottle Shock and a humbling experience for  French and California? Find out on Thursday at 730pm…

Belvoir Winery Bikers

12 Jun

It was an unusual Sunday at Belvoir Winery.  I jauntily wandered in along with co-worker Chelsea expecting the place to be empty – but the Ride Like the Wind bikers were in town and we found our boss Rachel heroically tending to their insatiable appetites at Belvoir’s sartorial bar all alone.  The bikers, who predominantly ride Harley motorcycles, led by Missy, were doing a group ride that would take them to Excelsior Springs then Smithville and Ladoga Ridge Winery.

Belvoir Winery’s Rachel looks on as Ride Like the Wind bikers drop in for a visit

They were a really nice crowd and in their leather outfits, bandanas and tatoos they gave the bar something of the atmosphere of Easy Rider mixed with The Warriors.  I just wish I hadn’t been taking the rubbish out when they rode away – it would have been a great photo.  I’ve settled for the substitute below.

a group of bikers riding a vintage italian  scooters Lambretta and Vespa at motorcycle rally of local Vespa Club on April 9,2012 in Santarcangelo di R. (RN) Italy Stock Photo - 13256711

Bikers riding vintage Italian Lambretta and Vespa scooters. Courtesy: http://www.123rf.com/profile_ermess

Soon after the bikers left, another biker turned up! Jim, who said he was also called James, which confused me a little because he made it sound like he really used those two names together, like he was called Jim James – which is in fact the case if  you take a look here.  Jim, a photographer,  also turned up on his motorcycle and he told us about a memorial ride and film he’s involved in to remember a friend of his – Lance – who, sadly, was killed in a Navy SEAL skydiving accident.   There’s a film in post-production about this memorial ride made by Lance’s friends like Jim, that should be out soon.  We swapped riding stories and then Jim went on his way.

Jim

Then we had to get to work, preparing for a wedding that took place later in the afternoon.  The flowers were great and the couple and their friends a nice, entertaining crew of people but they seemed to forget about the twenty bottles of champagne they had on ice.  I left work at 830pm and never solved this mystery.

Flowers at Sunday’s wedding

Missouri’s Les Bourgeois Vineyards Profile

8 Mar

This article is also posted at Midwest Wine Press

CEO of Les Bourgeois, Curtis Bourgeois

In 1974, Curtis and Martha Bourgeois bought a fifteen acre property on which Stephen, the fourth and youngest son, planted the first vines.  When these three acres of Chambourcin grapes produced a 5 ton harvest and 500 gallons of wine, the family decided to covert a hobby into a wine making enterprise.

Today, Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport is the third biggest wine producer in Missouri, making about 135,000 gallons per year.

“We were looking for a family business that we all could participate in,” says Curtis, Curtis Sr. and Martha’s oldest son, who was pursuing a television career in New York when he came home to join the enterprise. The younger Curtis is now the CEO of Les Bourgeois.  Together with his father, he oversees the daily operation of the winery, bringing in the whole family when big decisions need to be made.

The winery’s expansion has been ongoing. By 1991, the family had its own wine making equipment and bottling facility.  In 1994, a restaurant was designed by architect son, Stephen.  In 1998, an adjacent 180 acre property was purchased, and this year the family finished a two year project to construct a new production facility.  “2011 was our first crush in it,” says Curtis, “and it allows us to double our capacity and prepare for the future.”  Currently 30% of production comes from 35 acres under vines at Les Bourgeois and the rest from grapes brought in from local growers.

This year they’re starting construction of a brewery in the space left by the old winery to house their new venture: beer.  “We’re trying to look for new revenue streams,” says Curtis. “The Midwest is still behind as far as craft beer development, so we see some opportunities there.  We also see the beer demographics as being different from the wine demographics, so we’re hoping to pull a different customer base.”  Visitors will also have the novel experience  of seeing wine and beer making processes in the same location.

But wine is very much the primary business, and Curtis says the winery’s future involves two things. “We’re trying to expand the wines that we can make on a larger scale and selling the higher end, small lots on the property only.  This gives people another reason to come to the winery.”   The larger scale wines are generally sweet and include those made with the native American Concord and Catawba grapes.  The higher end, “Collectors Series” wines include locally grown varieties like the Norton and Vignoles as well as imported Cabernet, Shiraz, and Merlot grapes.

Curtis says the quality of one of their higher end wines, the Norton, has improved in recent years thanks to implementation of a version of a French technique called saignee.  Saignee is a method of bleeding off the juice after crushing the grapes and is used to make Rose and also to reduce the liquid content of the very juicy Zinfandel grape.  The technique was introduced at Les Bourgeois by

Les Bourgeois winemaker, Jacob Holman, testing Vignoles blends

winemaker Jacob Holman, originally from Moberly, Missouri.  Jacob learnt his winemaking skills on the job at Les Bourgeois and at a number of smaller Missouri wineries.  He calls his version of saignee  ”reverse bleed-off” because his objective is actually the opposite of Zinfandel makers. In other words, Jake wants to make the Norton more, not less, juicy.  “What Jake does is take a certain percentage of the Norton grape, and he actually squeezes it just for the liquid.  Then we add the liquid back into the body mass, so it gives it a much higher liquid to mass ratio and through that a cleaner fermentation.” Curtis says. “This increase in the liquid content of the Norton juice helps overcome fermentation issues caused by this grape’s high solids to liquid ratio. Through that we get a much cleaner, much more interesting, higher quality product.”

The use of winemaking techniques like reverse bleed-off that have helped improve the quality of wines, coupled with the growth of the Missouri wine industry, have transformed the way people regard the industry here compared to ten years ago, according to Curtis. “The business is now something that everyone recognizes as an important part of the economy and a viable concept for alternative agriculture, especially ag and ag tourism.”  Another change in the last decade is the increased cooperation in research and development through the universities and the State of Missouri.  Les Bourgeois, for example, works directly with the University of Missouri in Columbia.  “We have a pipeline for talent that is homegrown,” says Curtis.  Most of the wine expertise in Missouri used to come from outside the State, from California, Australia and South Africa, and Curtis says that talent didn’t always stay in Missouri for very long.  Today, there are degrees in food science and viticulture at agriculture schools which have created a new generation of Missourian winemakers who may be more likely to hang around.  “That’s how you keep a sustainable industry going,” says Curtis.  “It’s made a big difference for the industry and for us also.”

Norton vines at Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Even with these changes in the industry, plus the big expansion of its winery capacity, the improvements in quality and the move into craft beers, Les Bourgeois is content to distribute its wine in the Midwest.  “We see ourselves being a regional based winery. When you’re our size you couldn’t really fill that pipeline (other regional and overseas markets) very readily so we see ourselves staying close to home,” he says. “The regional wine business is growing, so basically we just want to keep expanding as the pool gets bigger, and that doesn’t necessarily mean exporting much further than contiguous states.”

“E” Gives “D” Wine Marketing Advice

7 Mar

Here’s another tale from February’s Midwest Wine Conference in St Charles.  In the upstairs section of the venue I stumbled on Elizabeth Slater, founder of In Short Direct Marketing, who gave a series of seminars on wine marketing and also spoke at the conference.  Elizabeth was sitting down with the owner of a regional winery who had some questions about the labeling on her wine bottles and how to attract more visitors to her tasting room.   Elizabeth and the winery owner (who preferred anonymity) allowed me to sit in on their conversation and take notes for this blog.

Elizabeth Slater, founder of In Short Direct Marketing

Elizabeth Slater, founder of In Short Direct Marketing

Elizabeth likes to be called, and is widely known as, “E”, so from this point onwards in this blog post, Elizabeth will be referred to as “E” and the anonymous winery owner will go by “D”.  From the start I was impressed by E’s sensible and insightful advice.  She was the sort of person who makes you think to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that!” and “Yes, that makes sense” – a lot.

Much of the conversation – about twenty minutes – was about bottle labeling.  D the winery owner was concerned about her logo and the style of the labeling.  E stressed the importance of sticking with a logo and making sure it remained in the same style and font on every bottle.  It turned out this particular winery had been playing around with the logo in the last couple of years and E said that was undoing good work by confusing customers who might have recognized the label in its old format.    Once you have a logo, said E, you have to stick with it to allow customers time – many months or even years – to get used to you enough to start recognizing your bottles in the grocery store.   She said the other decorative elements and writing on the label can change, but the logo must remain the same in order to build recognition of your brand.

As far attracting more visitors to the tasting room, E’s approach was to make D see herself as the creator of an experience.  “Winemakers are the rock stars these days,” she said, in other words, one reason people visit wineries is to enjoy meeting the winemaker.  E said it was also important to remember that wine lovers drink wine with their friends and fellow wine lovers, so once you’ve given one wine lover a good experience in your tasting room, you’re likely to attract more customers – ie their friends.  “One customer at a time…it’s about giving them a story to tell their friends,” said E.  That good story or experience to relate about what they discovered at your wine tasting venue should help up the visitor numbers.  “It’s not about the wine, it’s about the experience,” said E, but of course it’s a given that the wines have to be good.

“it’s about giving them a story to tell their friends”

Bottles searching for labels at the Midwest Wine Conference

As far as how to decide what sorts of experiences to provide in your tasting room, ask your customers what they want.  If possible, E suggests sending your customers a questionnaire via email and ask them things like what they like about the winery, what they don’t like and what they’d like to see there.   Given that many wineries are at least an hour’s drive from a lot of their customers, it’s also important to make sure you serve food so that people know they can come out and spend time there and not get  hungry.

D the winery owner also brought up the issue of whether to charge for tastings.  She explained that they recently decided to charge but had a couple of complaints from customers.  E thought it was a good idea to charge and said you can’t expect to please everyone but suggested offering one free sample as a way of compromising and keeping most people happy.

The conversation continued and moved onto sweet wines.  Given the popularity of sweets wines in regional USA, D told E she was looking at adding a sweet red to her wine list.   D said a “pretty high” number of her customers wanted sweet wines and her winery offered only dry wines apart from her slightly sweet Riesling.  E thought a sweet red was a good idea but D said she struggled with this because she didn’t like sweet reds.   At this point D made an interesting observation that other winery owners may be interested in confirming or commenting on.  She said people who prefer sweet wines tend not to buy in volume – they’ll come into the wine shop and buy a bottle or two – but those who prefer dry wines often buy by the case.  At this point I excused myself from the conversation because I had to start the long drive home to Liberty.  Thank you E and D!

Midwest Wine Appearing in More Top Restaurants

21 Feb

The author of this article is Mary Mihaly of Midwest Wine Press (MWP), based in Chicago.  MWP is the first business publication dedicated entirely to the art and business of winemaking in the Midwestern United States.  The editor of MWP is Mark Ganchiff, whose stated goal is to help winery owners, grape growers and cellar masters be more effective and profitable. The story first appeared in Midwest Wine Press in December and provides a positive tonic to, as well as supporting, the dark findings revealed in the blog posting “Wine Lists of Shame”.

Salt of the Earth Rustic American Eatery and Bakery in Fennville, Michigan has a dozen Michigan labels on its wine list. The event was an upscale food expo in Cleveland. I was pouring wine samples; the fellow pouring at the next table owned an award-winning winery in northeast Ohio. Our conversation turned to restaurant wine lists—specifically, why don’t we see more local wines listed?

“Beats me,” he said, “and it makes no sense. They talk about using local produce, local meats, farm-to-table everything—and they carry wines from France, California, everyplace but Ohio.”

His point is valid: why don’t more restaurants carry regional Midwest wine—and more importantly, how can regional wineries get onto their wine lists?

“I suspect it’s probably a little more expensive, takes a little more legwork to carry regional wines,” says Jon Trasky, general manager of The State Room Restaurant and Lounge in East Lansing, Michigan. His 17-page wine list features dozens of Michigan wines; they show up in nearly every category from Riesling to rosé. Trasky concedes that as part of the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at Michigan State University, it follows that he would carry Michigan wines.Still, he has a choice, and he sees buying local as good business: “What’s good for Michigan is good for us,” he says. “We live here, so we want to do all we can to support Michigan businesses.”

Every restaurant and winery owner we interviewed agreed on the chief reason for carrying a local wine: because it tastes as good as wines from the “major” wine regions. “That’s the biggest factor for us,” says Nolan Cleary, beverage manager for Lola Bistro in Cleveland, one of several restaurants owned by Michael Symon, TV’s “Iron Chef” and star of  ”The Chew.”  “For us, quality is a big motivator; we’re not going to bring in local products if they’re inferior.”

For Cleary, carrying local wines was serendipitous. An owner of Laurello Vineyards in Geneva, Ohio is a regular at Lola and brought in some Vidal ice wine for Cleary to taste. It landed on the wine list. The other winery whose wines Cleary serves—Harpersfield Winery, also in Geneva—is on the wine list because, according to Harpersfield owner Patty Ribic, the Iron Chef himself “heard the buzz” and visited the winery.

“We’re a very small producer, just 3,000 gallons. Since we only use our own grapes, we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature.  There’s a finite amount so we watch where our wine goes and I guess that impressed [Symon],” Ribic recalls.  Symon’s bar manager called, they met, and as a result, Lola Bistro became Ribic’s only restaurant outlet.

Farmhouse Tavern, one of Chicago’s newest hot spots (open just 10 weeks at this writing and pictured on the homepage), is trying a more inclusive tactic, offering wines from throughout the Midwest. “All of our sparkling wine is from Michigan,” says Robert Diaz, manager, “and we carry wines from Indiana, and even a Riesling and Pinot Noir from Firelands Winery in Ohio.”  Wine selection,  he says, can be easy.  “Put together some reds and whites from Argentina, Australia, and France, and your customers will be reasonably happy. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to seek out the smaller players, offer something different.”

Taste is Diaz’s top priority, and he speculates that perhaps more restaurants don’t offer local wines “because a lot of the root-stock in the Midwest isn’t old,” he says. “Europe and California have been growing grapes for a very long time, and older vines sometimes make better wine.”

Michigan wines “sort of fly under the radar,” says Mark Schrock, owner of Salt of the Earth in Fennville, Michigan, “but we produce some of the finest Riesling out there.” One of the most expensive wines on his wine list—“Shou,” a Bordeaux-style blend from Wyncroft Winery—is a Michigan wine with limited production. “You feel like the winemaker has examined every grape when you drink it, it’s that well crafted,” Schrock says. “If you want to be on a good wine list, quality is everything.”

Carey Amigoni, whose family owns Amigoni Urban Winery in Kansas City, agrees. “There’s no question,” she says, “a Cab Franc is a Cab Franc. If you make a pretty good one, people will want it.”

That view is echoed by the Wine Business Institute, which surveyed sommeliers of 74 restaurants in 2009. The results were unanimous: 100 percent ranked “tasting good” as the top factor in selecting wines for their lists. Nearly 98 percent ranked “matches with food menu” as the second priority, followed closely by “competitive price fit” and “balance of varieties.” Sixty-two percent said they prefer to buy locally—a bit surprising, since relatively few high-end restaurants offer regional wines—and only 35 percent said they would list a particular wine to maximize profits. Zero respondents said they relied on a supplier’s recommendations in buying wine.

Marketing, however, is critical to getting on wine lists, especially for small wineries. “Usually, a small distributor will do a good job for small wineries,” Carey Amigoni says, “where with a big distributor, the small wineries sort of disappear.” Amigoni likes her distributor, but she sometimes accompanies him on calls to new restaurants: “You have to go with them, personalize it, enjoy the wine with the bar manager, help sell it.”

That means talking up anything that would appeal to customers. If your wine is certified organic or Biodynamic, mention that to the bar manager. If Justin Timberlake or Bette Midler ordered a glass, or if it was fermented in barrels made of a special wood, that’s worth a mention. Anything that helps create a memorable experience for the customer will help sell your wine.

Megan Zander, bar manager at Blue Bird Bistro in Kansas City, offers wines by Amigoni as well as locally brewed beers and liquor from a local distillery. “Everything’s of the highest quality,” she says, “but we also want to talk to the winery owner and other producers. It’s about building relationships—you have to be as passionate about your wine as we are about our restaurant.”

Patty Ribic agrees: “Let’s face it, there are a million wineries out there. You have to have passion for your wine—put out a product you’re proud of.”

As for the future, Mark Schrock believes, “more and more, `local’ translates to sales,” he says. “Our guests are asking for it—but you’ve got to bring your best stuff.”

“I think you’re going to see people take notice of local wines over the next 10 years,” Robert Diaz predicts. “Wineries should start now, creating and developing relationships with restaurants and restaurant groups, and good things will happen.

“Get into a few good restaurants and people will start noticing—and buying—your wine.”

Reprinted with permission of  Midwest Wine Press.


Historic Downtown Liberty Promotes Missouri Wines

20 Feb

On Saturday there was an annual wine tasting event just around the corner from my house.  Let’s Wine About Winter, organized by

Liberty Square sunshine on the day of "Let's Wine About Winter"

Historic Downtown Liberty Inc., involved the shops on the pretty Liberty square (site of the first daylight bank robberyin US history, thought to have been performed by the Jesse James gang) providing a selection of free wine on a sort of round the square wine crawl.   You bought a wine glass for $10 and then strolled around on a gorgeous sunny spring like winter’s day, popping in and out of the shops, tasting wines.  Each participating shop chose its wine and the great thing about their selections was that about half of them were local Missouri wines. This surprised me given that you might expect high-end clothes boutiques, antiques and nick nack stores to favor high-end Californian or French stuff – but not on Liberty Square!

Cathie Meyer, owner of "Quotations" boutique, and to her right, Amigoni Winery's Cabernet-Franc

While the restaurants in Kansas City might generally be neglecting their local wineries, the Liberty shop owners proudly poured wines from Jowler Creek Vineyard, Amigoni Urban Winery, Westphalia Vineyards and Crown Valley Winery.   It was a popular event – there we dozens of people out.   In fact, since moving to Liberty in November, I haven’t seen so many people on the old downtown square.  It was a great way for the locals to explore the shops and for the owners to get to know their potential customers over a vino.

Heather Chaney and Anna Wright with Jowler Creek wines in their "Catfish & Tater" boutique

Liberty square's "Let's Wine About Winter"

Daphne Bowman from "Willow Spring Mercantile", that specialises in Missouri wines, pours for two wine tasters in "The Polished Edge" jeweller

In the foreground, Vicky Burnett considers her next wine stop after sampling some Spanish vino in "Crepes on the Square", as owner Neil Battrum serves wine tasters