The potency of partnership has been proven once more. The Wine Shop, headed by directors Ahmet Osman and Sean Gonzales, opened its doors during the second week of October last. With both having backgrounds in food and beverage, a progression into exclusive liquor retailing was only natural, and with combined expertise they have added yet another wine experience to the city's landscape.
Individuality being their niche, Osman and Gonzales import exclusive brands, which distinguishes their retail outlet from any other. " We import our own wines. We sought from small vineyards. It's very practicable because you can go back to them and say "It's not quite right". You speak directly to the winemaker, the guy who's treading the grapes, and he'll respond, as opposed to conglomerates which produce standard manufactured wines. You can get the boutique style wine that you want. You can influence the vineyard," says Osman.
Their vineyards of choice range from Manawa, Tamboerskloof, Cedar Grove to Pasetti and Val Di Toro and their wine collections include picks such as Chateau Couronneau 2008, Dominic Chiroulet 2008 and Parfum De Chiroule 2010.
"It is still growing", Osman says of the market. "We have a tasteful buy here which is acceptable to ordinary people". As many of these wines may be foreign to the average individual the Wine Shop offers a daily wine tasting at a cost. Along with the tasting, customers are educated on the specifics of the wine. Osman explains, " We do not want to intimidate people. We do not want to be snobbish. We want to be very much down to earth and say how wine is made and tell about the different styles, because each wine is for a different occasion; it's for a different mood."
The Wine Shop plans to distinguish itself by uplifting the types of wine they import and by offering unique services to anyone interested in the world of fine wines.
Though the unique services of the Wine Shop may be in high demand island wide, for now wine enthusiasts will have to make do with the Kingston location, as this is where Osman and Gonzales will be focusing their energies for now.