Bacchus Wine Shop in Manhattan Beach, LA
My new age friend's ex-colleague, a lady by the name of Charlie Bean, left her post as head of customer relations at a start-up computer company on the East Coast, to run a wine shop in Manhattan Beach, California. The story of how she and her boyfriend Ron visited the shop while on holiday and then bought it is an inspiring one. [Be sure to ask Charlie and Ron about the story.]
On our first visit, my friend asked me to play a difficult and demanding customer and my accomplice JB to act like the quintessential English wine snob while she stood outside to watch our show. But I was stunned speechless by the unique interior of the wine shop. It was unlike any wine shop I've ever visited - in London and Amsterdam.
The wines were organised not by place of origin or colour but by taste. This made it easier to select the type of wine to go with your food. For example, if you prefer fruity wine, select a bottle under the sign "Fruity." Other tastes are MELLOW, TARTY, etc. Along the two walls were placed wine bottles in purpose-built "caves." Reading the well-versed description of each bottle made my mouth water.
In the middle sat an old butcher's chopping block (table) which came from the set of the movie "The Green Mile." Although only opened for 3 months, the place felt very well cared for and communicated the words: commitment and thoughtfulness.
I was immediately taken by the "Seven Deadly Zins" - a red zinfandel that brought the proprietors to the store in the first place. Before long, I selected that bottle for my friend in San Diego who had first introduced me to the seven cardinal sins. I chose a rose dessert wine for my friends in Long Island and a champagne from Australia (who has ever heard of such a thing?) for my friends in Pasadena.
It was the first time that I bought wine to be delivered to friends. Meanwhile my new age friend was disappointed that we didn't act our parts. Still, she got invited to pour wine at their next wine tasting. Maybe she can play the part of a wine hostess!
28 September 2003 Sunday
1000 Manhattan Avenue