Wine and so much more

A comprehensive shopping experience at Parkhill's South

It’s been said that a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine. But how does a novice choose the perfect wine for a meal or a hostess gift when you don’t know the difference between a Malbec and a Mourvedre? You depend on the experts at Parkhill’s South Liquors and Wine. For nearly 10 years, Parkhill’s South has provided the largest selection of wine, spirits and beer. Additionally, they offer mixers, bar accessories and unique hostess gifts. 

But where to start. We’ve all been there, staring at bottle after bottle of confounding labels. James Andrews, who serves as Parkhill’s certified sommelier, suggests beginning with what you already know and build from there. “One of the unique things about this store is that we take the time to work with each customer to find the perfect wine for any situation.” That not only includes every day or special-occasion wines, but wines that are tailored to your menu.

Andrews, who has spent more than 30 years training, selling and educating others about wines and spirits says there are three universal languages; food, music and wine. He advises pairing wines with not only the menu, but the spices used to create the flavors of the food. “It’s only been in the past few decades that we’ve paired wine and food. When you travel internationally, you normally drink wines from that region, but when you really know which wines work with different foods and flavors, it makes drinking wine a much more enjoyable experience.”

One suggestion from Andrews that many sommeliers often veer away from is sparkling wine. “You may not be able to find a wine that goes with everything, but sparkling wine will work with anything. The effervescence is a natural palette cleanser, so it prepares you for the next bite,” explains Andrews.

But for those who want more of an individualized pick, Andrews asks specific questions. Besides the menu, details about the hosts’ or hostesses’ personalities, what they drink, your budget and what wines have been tried in the past. Want to dash in and grab something you know will be a hit? Try James’ picks – a special section full of distinctive wines – the tried and true bottles, but also a focus on wines with small production or perhaps coming from an unknown region or unusual grape variety. His favorite wine? “Choosing a favorite wine is like having a favorite child.”

Parkhill’s has long facilitated wine tastings, both privately and for philanthropic events. But with COVID, it has made many logistically difficult.  So, like many businesses, they turned to Zoom to host wine tastings and pairings. Tina Parkhill, who owns the store, remembers one Zoom wine tasting where they chose wine, cocktails and even beer to compliment the appetizers and desserts being served. “It was so much fun and it really showcased a new way we can stay social with our friends.”

If beer or cocktails are more your style, Chris Vedda, an expert in beer and spirits, says seltzers are the big seller right now. His recommendation is to start with local-made beers and seltzers. “We have a lot of local beers many customers may not think to try.”  But, he adds, “are always a great place to start, especially when trying to expand your knowledge.”

Missing happy hour when you ordered a French 75 and never had to worry how it was made? No worries, Vedda says there are so many pre-mixed drinks available now that it makes it easier than ever to try something new or stick with an old favorite. But don’t discount becoming your own bartender. “People are finding that mixing their own cocktails is not only fun, but a great way to try something new.” Parkhill’s South can help you with all the ingredients, not just the spirits, which makes shopping there a much more comprehensive experience.

Whether you are new to pairing food and wine or you consider yourself an ace mixologist, Parkhill’s can assist you every step of the way. And if you’re just not sure how to choose the perfect Merlot, gift cards are always available. Delivery and curbside service are available, but treat yourself by visiting the store at 10018 South Memorial. They are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. They have a Facebook page announcing new arrivals, or give them a call at 918.528.6700. You can find them on the web at

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