For scale, those are magnums on
top, and regular wine bottles in
the background and lower right.
The other day I was standing in our “secret cellar” in the back of the store, talking to Joe, the owner. A guest walked in and was a little stunned at the sight of the Nebuchadnezzar (that’s 15 liters!) of Veuve Clicquot that we have in stock. They asked “Good God! How do you POUR a thing like that?” I said “It helps to have a butler with a REALLY BIG THUMB, so he can pour it in the classic thumb-in-the-dimple-style“. We all had a chuckle, but it reminded us of something that we sometimes find as frustrating as our guests do. If you’ve ever been in our store, you probably noticed right away that quarters are a little tight. We apologize. We only have about 2500 square feet to work with, and we have nearly 3000 wines, over 1500 beers, several hundred premium spirits. And that’s on top of a full selection of popular liquors. We mean that literally. You actually have to look near the ceiling for the premium whiskeys, brandies, and tequila. And then we have a small deli selection, and all the snacks and sodas you’d expect in a party store. So these cramped quarters create a few obvious problems, which we’re doing our best to resolve. One of these problems is signage and “shelf talkers”. If we were to provide detailed signage and tasting notes for all the wines on the shelf, it would look like a Macy’s holiday parade, and you probably wouldn’t even be able to SEE the wine. So we’re working on a computer-based kiosk that lets you scan a wine and see notes. In the interim, we’re cleaning up the signage, and looking at ways to physically expand, which may include adding a partial second floor. We also have had to opt to arrange the wine in a manner that’s a little different than what you may be used to at a roomier store. At first glance it may seem bewildering, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you know the lay of the land. And that’s why we’re providing a little map. We’ve included it below, but a physical version also exists at the store, right in the center where all the aisles meet. And you’re probably still wondering how you pour a 15 liter bottle of wine. Well, traditionally servants would attend to that, so if you’re able to spring for the bottle, maybe you already have servants too, and you’re all set. But if not, and you’re still hankering for a 15 liter bottle of champagne for your next party, stop by the store and we’ll explain the various siphoning or decanting cradle methods that are more commonly employed. The map of the store is below, and if for some reason you want a printable version, there’s one here in PDF. (more…)