So just what is an Enoteca?

Enoteca/(ee-no-tech-a)/nounItalian word, derived from the Greek language which literally means ”wine repository”.

enoteca (plural enotecas)

  1. A wine bar giving visitors or tourists the opportunity to sample locally-produced wine with a view to buying it.

Since this has been one of the most frequently asked questions and since it truly describes the ‘new’ Naked Grape, I thought this would be a good place to start!   As in the Greek translation, the Naked Grape is now a ‘wine repository’ for great wines that we at the Grape seek out to import for the very first time to PA.   It’s also a ‘wine bar’ that gives our visitors a chance to sample wines with the option to purchase them.  (While the Wikipedia definition specifies ‘local’ wines, our portfolio contains wines from all over the world.)  

Enotecas are basically wine shops where you can sample and, in our case, also enjoy your previously purchased Naked Grape wine in the lovely environment of our Cal-Ital style tasting room.   They are a place for exploration of wine, enjoyment of wine and a place to escape the daily grind and spend some time in the company of friends and others who enjoy wine.  

Naturally, given that we are located in the state of PA, this is not without its challenges given the laws for Importers in this state.   These challenges include the fact that one cannot purchase a bottle from us and immediately walk out the door with it; that to enjoy a glass or bottle of our wine, it must be first purchased and run through the PLCB (and PA taxation) system.   One might ask, “Why are they (the Naked Grape) doing this if it can’t be immediate gratification for guests?”  or “Why would they do something so complicated when they had a great restaurant…wasn’t that less complicated?” .  Fair questions…natural questions…and here are the answers:

Q. “Why are they (the Naked Grape) doing this if it can’t be immediate gratification for guests?”

A.  Because we believe that guests will appreciate the benefits of being able to ‘try before you buy’ as opposed to paying for wines that you may or may not like.   Because we believe that our unique, boutique, small production wines are so good, they are worth a 24 hour wait to have in your possession.   Because if you are a person who enjoys wine at home, you probably buy it in advance anyway.  And because we can bring you a totally new option to purchasing wine beyond what our state has typically seen for many years…and we can bring this new concept to Sewickley, where we know our guests are open to new, exciting businesses!

Q. “Why would they do something complicated when they had a great restaurant…wasn’t that less complicated?”

A.  Well, that all depends on the definition of complicated.   For us, as much as we enjoyed our experience as restauranteurs (especially because of our clientele and Bunch), when we set out to open the Naked Grape, we did not intend to open a restaurant actually.   We intended to open something like the new concept, but we didn’t know how to do so.   We ended up on the only path we thought we had and that snowballed into a restaurant which was thankfully successful, but sadly not what we had intended.  Our dream was a place squarely focused on the wine and with a restaurant, food is usually the star and wine the supporting actor or actress.  (Thanks to our WONDERFUL chefs and kitchen Bunch…food WAS the star of the Naked Grape and we are so grateful for their dedication to it and your enjoyment of it!)   But alas, running the restaurant took us further and further away from the wine aspect and was limiting our ability to do what we wanted to do with wine.   Another aspect was the lack of work/life balance.   David nor I are strangers to hard work and enjoy it, but as we age, we recognize the importance of ‘balance’ in life.   If you are out of balance but doing what you were passionate about doing, it’s less of an imbalance, but if you’re not doing what you are passionate about AND there is no balance, it’s actually…..well….quite complicated.  

So now here we are with our Enoteca and great wines to offer Sewickley and the areas surrounding Pittsburgh.   People are catching on to the Enoteca…they’re enjoying our Flight Nights, enjoying sampling wines and Lite Bites, enjoying knowing that they are purchasing wines they know they like and enjoying wines by the glass and bottle at the Grape through our Cellar Society.   What is the Cellar Society?  That’s a question with an answer for the next blog discussion…..or to be answered when you stop in to the Naked Grape Enoteca!  Same great wine, service and ambiance…just a different wine experience.

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