Inman Quarter is now home to the country’s first wine shop from Barcelona Wine Bar. Packed with at least a case of each of the 586 labels (for a total of almost 7,000 bottles), VinoTeca is the largest wine store to open in Atlanta in recent memory. Old world wine (from Spain, in particular) takes up a majority of the real estate, with only a small section devoted to pours from California, Oregon, and Washington.
Designed with the same airy, wood-on-iron vibe you find at the restaurant across the street, the spacious store is split into three sections: wine on the left; a tasting area on the right; and a special, refrigerated room in the back stocked with rare finds and pricier bottles (including $50 Alvarinho from Granito Cru!). Many of the wines on the list at Barcelona Wine Bar are sold here as well.
The setup is remarkably user-friendly, with bottles divided by region and, in the middle of the room, grouped into themes like “great wines under $12,” “biodynamic wines,” “wines with pretty labels,” and—my personal favorite—“costs $20, drinks like $50.” Clever.
Last fall when I spoke to Katie Rice, the restaurant’s general manager and soon-to-be head drinker at the store, she laid out an ambitious plan to focus on bargain wines under $10. Turns out that was a bit ambitious. “I have a lot of $10 wine, but $12 and $15 turned out to be the magic numbers,” says Rice.
Rice also plans to purchase additional coolers (she currently has three) so that every white wine in the store will be available for purchase chilled. The store is a prototype for the Connecticut-based restaurant group, and should this opening go well—and I see no reason why it wouldn’t—more are likely to start cropping up around the country.