Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend your entire workday learning and tasting wine: meeting winemakers, chatting with wine lovers, and mastering food and wine pairings?
Well, we’d like to introduce ourselves. We are Sarah Pierre and Katie Rice, good friends, long-time Atlanta residents, and both wine shop owners. This column was created to share our stories and give a little behind the scenes into the wine industry. Our goal is to answer all the questions that you may have, but never felt comfortable asking.
Let’s start by answering question number one: No, we do not drink wine all day. But we do taste wine all day; small sips that we spit out after we’ve evaluated the flavors of wines and seeing if they would be a good fit for our clients. It’s all for education, right? And yes, we do have our favorites, but our intentions are always to introduce unique, interesting wines to the masses – bonus points if they have a great story.
We had a similar career path and we would like to share our stories.
Katie: Hello! I’m the owner of VinoTeca in Inman Park. I moved to Atlanta in 2001 after graduating from Miami University (the Ohio one) and found my first fine dining job with Van Gogh’s in Roswell. The wine program was stellar and the staff was seasoned and well educated. They took me under their wing and planted the seed for hospitality and wine that would lead to other opportunities managing restaurants furthering my interest in wine. Fast forward to 2014 when I partnered with Gretchen Thomas of Barcelona Wine Bar to develop VinoTeca – a boutique shop with a tasting component that strives to not only sell great bottles, but also educate through weekly tastings, monthly classes and a supper club. In 2019, I was given the opportunity to take over the shop and split from the restaurant only to continue the mission of finding a wine into everyone’s palate.
Sarah: And I am the owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop in Glenwood Park. I established the space in 2013 with the hopes of creating a comfortable, welcoming, but mostly fun space to purchase wine. A place for wine lovers, and those eager to learn and ready to taste. Prior to opening the store, I spent most of my career working and managing notable restaurants in Atlanta and New York City including Twist Restaurant & Lounge, Houston’s Restaurant, Maialino, & Bacchanalia to name a few. My passion for hospitality and love for food and wine is evident in everything I do in the shop.
Needless to say, between the two of us, we’ve seen it all and consumed it all. We are beyond thrilled to share our stories and introduce readers to other wine professionals paving the way in the wine industry.
Katie’s Wine Pick
There are a few wines that I always look to when deciding what I want to drink in my free time and 4 Monos Viticultores GR-10 from Sierra de Gredos, Spain is often one that I choose. The vines are located north of Madrid in a region that has a devotion to the Garnacha grape, but a few others are blended into this wine like Carinena and Syrah. This wine is organically grown, about as natural as you can get and made by four friends who partnered to create the label. The nose exhibits notes of ripe red berries and a lively freshness while the mouth is elegant and driven by minerality and ripe fruit. A perfect wine for sharing with the best of friends.