Running his hands along a new inventory of corked bottles, Larry Zimmerman said everybody knows what a cabernet sauvignon tastes like.
"And everyone knows what a merlot tastes like," he said, pointing to a full stock of red wine.
But the chambourcin is a little different, according to Zimmerman, owner of The Shops at 16 N. Main in Shrewsbury.
"To me, it's just more interesting," he said.
Chambourcin - a French-American hybrid with higher tannins and a peppery flavor - is one of the reds now available in the new Wine Shop at his business. It's a combination of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.
Zimmerman, who quickly confesses he's not a wine snob, has partnered with Loganville-based Logan's View Winery to sell 30 flavors of wine, including whites, blushes, rosés, reds and fruit blends. Prices range from $10 to $24 per bottle.
Though it's been open for about 10 days and has sold 101 bottles, the shop will host a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Cheeses and desserts will be offered in addition to a wine tasting, Zimmerman said.
"I'm excited to give our customers an excellent selection of wines while also helping to make Shrewsbury a destination point again," he said.
Glen Rock-based Seven Valleys Vineyard & Winery previously occupied a cottage in the back of The Shops, but the new wine shop is filling a niche that was left vacant the last two years.
Nestled in what was once a formal dining room of an 1840s Victorian home, the Wine Shop also sells wine glasses, wine savers, corkscrews and other gifts.
"We are a one-stop shop for wine lovers," Zimmerman said.
For non-wine lovers, the other shops in the three-story building offer other gift items, including antiques, furniture, handmade arts, jewelry and professional photography framed with recycled wood from an Oklahoma barn and jewelry.
Combined with its courtyard cottage, The Shops at 16 N. Main represent 22 vendors and artisans, he said.
Hours for The Shops are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Wine Shop hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, by appointment on Monday, closed Tuesday and Wednesday, and from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
During its open hours, Zimmerman will be on hand to host tastings for customers who don't know what they like.
"About 80 percent of the customers we've had aren't wine snobs. They're just regular people who are not sure what to get," he said.
Zimmerman said he can help customers decide if they want a wine that's sweet, dry, crisp or full-bodied, and he will also recommend which bottle pairs well with certain foods.
"From the casual wine drinker to the more advanced palate, we have something for all tastes," he said.
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