Grape & Cheese is located at 1531 West Main Street.
In my endless pursuit to learn about wine, I dropped by Grape & Cheese in the Fan to talk to owner Bill Robinson. Bill has been in the wine business since ’81 – and has lots of wine knowledge to show for it. Interested in trying a new wine, but don’t know where to start? Bill is the guy to give you good advice.
Grape & Cheese is probably one of the most uniquely appointed wine shops I’ve ever seen. Bill decorated the place from thrift stores and estate sales. The toy plane, colorful fake parrot and antique photos create an inviting atmosphere that’s welcoming to the most seasoned wine aficionado and first time Merlot drinkers alike. Who ever said you can’t buy wine while you’re walking your dog? Customers can stop by with their dog, as long as they don’t interrupt the store cat, Ochee.
Most wines range from $5.99 to $50 with a special section dedicated to wines under $10, deemed “Recession Busters”. Bill mentioned that Malbecs are a very popular wine among customers right now. I tried the 2009 Maipe Malbec for a reasonable $12.99. Deep purple in color, with spices and traces of cherries, I believe people would call this a “big red”. In summary: delicious. (Side note: opening at 4 p.m. and consuming the entire bottle by 7 p.m. makes for an early night).
Bill’s advice for novice wine drinkers (like myself!)?
Don’t get the cheapest, or the most expensive.
Attend wine festivals and get an idea of what you like.
Read up. There’s ton of literature. Look at all the books I found for under $10 at Barnes and Noble, here.
If you’re looking for a new bottle of wine for the weekend, visit Grape & Cheese. You’ll learn a lot and drink a lot afterwards. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget, Bill’s got you covered on the cheese part, too. Cheeses range from $8 to $24 per lb. I hear the Humboldt goat cheese is all the rage with the cheese-types these days. Cheers!
Have a glass of wine Out of the Box every Wednesday on GayRVA.
By Kristina Headrick Amongst hordes of wine loving Virginians, I was lucky enough to to attend the 6th Annual Wine Expo this past Saturday. Hosted at the massive Greater Richmond Convention Center, the event benefited FeedMore, Central Virginia’s core hunger relief organization. More than a collection of wineries, the event featured vendors selling specialty foods, art, [...]