Downtown Occoquan may be a sleepy place on Mondays, but any other day of the week it thrives with character, and characters. There are lots of roads to meander down, but if you only had an hour to stop by, why not check out Mill Street?
On one end of Mill Street, you can grab a fresh cup of coffee, on the other end you can buy beautiful trinkets, but if libations are your passion, look no further than Olde Dominion Wine Shoppe.
The store itself has been around for a decade, but was purchased in 2009 by the husband and wife team of Emil and Kim Wigode.
I recently conversed with the couple, and was smitten with their story. Emil and Kim are oozing with knowledge about wine and beer and they are eager to spread the wealth.
Here are excerpts from the Q&A:
Patch: Why were you both so interested in owning your own wine shop?
E&K: We were married at a Virginia winery 12 years ago and have always had a fondness for Virginia wines. Like many others in our generation, we were interested in pursuing our passions now rather than waiting until we retire.
Patch: What type of specials can customers look out for?
E&K: On November 14, we'll be having a Thanksgiving Wine Tasting. Customers will have the opportunity to taste several wines that go perfectly with T-giving dinner and stock-up for their holiday feasts with discounts of up to 20%.
Patch: Name a few of your favorite wines... To go with: 1. Steak 2. Chicken 3. Seafood. What about them makes them your favorite?
E&K: Steak – A full-bodied red, with flavors and aromas of berries, spice and bright acidity complement steak perfectly. Linden Vinyard's Claret or Veritas Vineyards Cabernet Franc.
Chicken – A fruit forward chardonnay or Viognier complement chicken dishes. Paradise Springs 2009 Chardonnay – winner of the VA Governor's Cup for best white wine. A Fruit forward pear and green apple followed by butter and toasted marshmallow.
Seafood –Vidal Blanc provides notes of citrus, pineapple and usually a hint of sweetness. New Kent Winery Vidal Blanc.
Patch: Do you hold wine tastings? When are they?
E&K: The shop offers free daily wine tastings and hosts a different Virginia winery each Saturday afternoon to not only please the palate but offer the rare opportunity to tour Virginia wine country in one shop. We also periodically offer craft beer tastings.
Patch: Do you have special events? Parties? Gatherings?
E&K: For those who want to broaden their minds, in addition to their palates, we offer wine and beer-related classes as well as classes geared towards finding the perfect pairing for your favorite libations.
Patch: Are there such things as good fall wines?E&K: Good fall wines leave a sense of warmth on the palate. People generally gravitate towards heavier red wines with hints of spice, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, tobacco, smoke, etc. Dessert and mulled wines such as Burnley Vineyards' Spicy Rivanna are also popular.
Patch: Anything else we should know?
E&K: Our mission is to further the "drink and eat local" movement, which is environmentally friendly and also helps the local economy. Virginia wine, beer and artisan foods are as good as any in the world, we enjoy convincing people of this fact.
The store is open Wednesday through Sunday, and is worth the visit. Have a look at their new website to see what else they offer.
The tasting and event schedules of Olde can be found here.
Let us know how your experience was!