By Lou Phillips ·
Nestled under the pines a block from the beach in Incline Village sits a wine shop worth a visit. Owners Will and Amy Brigham are passionate wine collectors and the shop selections reflects this. Their staff receives a high level of ongoing training with three of their team members having achieved Level 1 Sommelier status.
What this means for you is a unique wine exploration experience where you can be confident of your guides. The staff’s knowledge of wine allows them to match your taste and budget with the perfect wine for every day enjoyment or a special bottle for a special occasion.
Another reason that this shop shines is its wines are kept in a temperature and humidity controlled display room – the only one I know of in the area. This is especially important for wine with some bottle age and Incline Spirits is one of the few local shops to offer older vintages.
If the wine lover in you longs for something other than the usual suspects found at grocery chains you will appreciate the unique, handpicked selection at all price points.
For our tasting, manager Michael Tassone poured a 2013 Paco & Lola Albarino ($21.99). This refreshing white from northwest Spain delivers a beautiful floral nose and backs that up on the palate with exotic mango notes, white flowers and a refreshing acidity.
Next up was Chardonnay and we had the 2013 Apaltagua from Chile ($13.99). A light on its feet version (no oak), with bright citrus and pineapple and a clean finish; a real summer Chard.
A just-in-time-for-spring wine is the 2012 Acrobat Pinot Noir ($19.99), which displayed a light garnet color, silky body, bright cherry/cranberry and a touch of earth typical of its Oregon heritage.
We then sampled the 2012 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99) from former rock ‘n’ roll impresario turned superstar Walla Walla wine maker, Charles Smith. This Cab (with a touch of Petite Verdot and Malbec) brought the goods with typical Washington freshness to the dark fruits, spice box and a nice mineral streak all balanced with silky tannins.
There is a picnic-style seating area out front where you are welcome to enjoy your beverage selections, and even a fine cigar from their custom humidor. They also occasionally host live acoustic music, sometimes featuring Mr. Brigham on the guitar and vocals.
Incline Spirits is easy to find, across from the Hyatt at 120 Country Club Dr., No. 25. For more information, call (775) 831-9292 or visit inclinespirits.com.
Lou Phillips is a Level 3 Sommelier who specializes in helping collectors (private or commercial) analyze, buy or sell fine wines. He may be reached at (775) 544-3435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.