When Flavio Gentile happened upon the vacant, former home of an independent pharmacy run out by big-chain competitors, he seized the opportunity to fill a void in the Printer's Row market. The seasoned fine-dining waiter set up a specialty wine shop. Since Gentile's from Italy, you can expect some prime and obscure Italian wines, but the collection as a whole is pretty much a jack of all regions, including Spanish, domestic and French wines as well as a surprising variety from all over the southern hemisphere. Prices range from two-for-$10 Oak Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon to $140 vintage bottles of Dom Perignon (which are kept chilled in the shop).
In addition to residing in the perfect locale, situated among old printing-buildings-turned-residential-lofts, the wine shop offers a taste-before-you-buy principle. And on Fridays from 5-8 p.m. year-round it makes a little event of it.
No wine snobs found here, just friendly connoisseurs matching price and taste– a quick walk to the back will find all four employee's picks, mostly three to four types of grapes.
The selection doesn't stop at wine. You've got your basic cheese pairings–Havarti, Rosenborg, Chavrie and fresh mozzarella–and all kinds of crackers to go with it. Like a little cigar with your vino? Not a problem. Booze? You'll find everything from old man drinks like Jim Beam to French vodka and passion fruit fusions. The shop sells fine beers by the bottle, too, for all your mixing and matching needs.
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul