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A Worldly Palate for Wine Lovers

For Mike and Diana Gray, owners of Grapevine Wine, wine is the ultimate pairing with life’s everyday adventures.

For Mike and Diana Gray, wine is the ultimate pairing with life’s everyday adventures.  From Book Club, holiday dinners, weekends at the lake house, backyard barbecues, and casual dinner parties, adding a wine to the mix will not only complement the flavor of the food but allow your tastebuds to travel the world, all from the confines of your own home.

Just as soil conditions and weather patterns can change a wine’s qualities from year to year, so too, the evolves the palate of the wine consumer. And while oenophile tastebuds have evolved dramatically over the last 25 years, since the founding of their shop, Grapevine Wines, the thirst for a good value wine has not.

While perusing the shelves of the downtown Kirkwood wine shop might seem intimidating at first glance, the couple is quick to make the experience approachable, eye-opening, and loads of fun. With a wide variety of countries represented, customers can time-travel the world’s vineyards in just moments. The colorful labels can tempt even the most experienced wine connoisseur into experiencing new bold flavors and textures.

During the rollercoaster months of the pandemic’s shutdown, when customers were limited to phone orders and curbside pick-up, the Grays said they realized most were willing to experiment with different tastes in terms of wine and spirits.

“People were home more and had the time push the boundaries a bit with their palate, oftentimes surprising themselves.”

With their decades of experience in the industry and their love for everything wine-related, the Grays and their new associates, Aaron Sherman and Wanda Cole-Nicholson, both sommeliers, make the world of wine – and their shop -- a comforting place to relax, enjoy and sample the flavors of the world. Whether purchasing a bottle or two, attending one of the monthly tastings or weekly classes, they are keen to educate their customers on everything from styles, tastes, and trends to the intricate spirit distilling process (for those who are interested) and potential food pairings.

“Today’s wine drinker is much more knowledgeable than from years past,” Mike said. “People are looking to explore and experiment more instead of drinking the same thing every day. We’re seeing people move to more unique styles such as natural and organic wines, which are really beginning to gain in popularity.”

Other trends include the dramatic increase in popularity of the evolution of Rosé, once strictly a summertime wine, into a year-round beverage. In fact, Diana said, it pairs excellently with Thanksgiving dinner. And while French wines were once thought of as intimidating to the average consumer, the everyday drinker is now embracing them. Italian wines that were more traditionally Old World in style – earthier, acidic – are now becoming more New World and fruit-driven in taste, which the customers love.

Red, white, rose – the world beckons your palate at Grapevine Wines.

  • left to right Michael Gray Diana Gray Wanda Cole-Nicholson Aaron Sherman
  • Diana Gray