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Fresno Wine Shops [split from Wine]

glazebrookgirl Sep 20, 2006 04:10 PM

[[ Note: This thread was split from the Wine board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... -- The Chowhound Team ]

]

Hey PB...I was in the new wine shop at Champlain and Nees called Vino 100. I guess this is a franchise of some sort and they have 100 wines for $25 or less. Hubby and I were intrigued by their international offering. Anyway, I spotted a couple of Vinho Verdes for around $10 iirc.

Thought you might want to check it out, since they seem harder to find around here. The store is a pretty interesting concept anyway even if you don't pick up any VV.

Vino 100 - Fresno
1528 E. Champlain Dr. #108
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 434-1771

  1. PolarBear Sep 21, 2006 12:44 AM

    gbg, you 'da gal. I've been meaning to get over there for one of their wine tastings, I mean, it's not like it's a narrow window of time or anything, five days out of the week, iirc.

    Do you happen to recall which VVs they were offering? This is the same wine bar/shop in the center that has Five (and form. Echo)?

    On that note, I'd previously mentioned being mildly impressed by the 4.99 Gazela VV at BevMo. I stopped in early last week and found they had the Casal Garcia (@ $6) and picked up a bottle (tax stamped 05), thought it was even better than the Gazela. Wish I'd bought more, went back two days later and it was all gone.

    Also this past weekend I tried a bottle of Arco Nova (tax stamped 05), that had much more fruit and heavier than the others I've tried, at first it was a little off-putting but found as it warmed in the glass, layers of flavor started to appear, apricot seems to stand out (hey, it was late at night). In any event, I wish I could remember where I bought it.

    Oops, just noticed Vino 100 is at Champlain & Nees (not Perrin), now I have two places to check out... damn....work, work, work!
    ; >P

    3 Replies
    1. re: PolarBear
      glazebrookgirl Sep 21, 2006 07:47 PM

      PB, I think it would be fun to do one of their wine tastings. I was there on a Friday night and the place was full of people and they had munchies out plus about 8-9 wines. Now this was their "grand opening" weekend so I don't know if it would always be this posh. They had several people willing to help out and explain how they rate the wine. They don't do any Wine Spectator or Parker ratings, they have a scale for fruitiness and a scale for dryness. They tell you where on the scale a particular wine falls. I think they are trying to make buying a wine less scary and more about personal preference than what someone else thinks about the wine. I kinda like that idea since it takes some of the pretentiousness out of buying wine. Additionally, they have a large selection of international wines in order to make their budget of under $25. I like this a lot because you can find some good deals on wines produced in South America or Australia. I would like to try some of those types of wines and expand my horizons a bit.

      FYI, they also have a wine club you can join for $35 a month. You get to come to one of their wine tastings and pick out two bottles a month and they throw in two wine glasses. Interesting idea.

      I am really blanking on the names of the VV I saw. However, the Arco Nova looks familiar. I do remember that both bottles were from Portugal. Sorry I can't be more specific.

      Question, what is the new wine place at Champlain and Perrin? Seems like they are popping out all over the place, there is a place called Wine Styles opening soon at Fig Garden. Hubby and I will be busy!

      1. re: PolarBear
        glazebrookgirl Sep 23, 2006 10:27 PM

        PB, quick note...I was at Whole Foods today and there was a special on a Setzer Gruner-Veltliner 2005. Normally $11.99, but on sale for $9.99. It was from Austria and supposedly was the top winery in Austria in 2005. I have no idea if this means anything or not.

        P.S. It had a screw top.

        1. re: glazebrookgirl
          PolarBear Sep 23, 2006 10:52 PM

          Another big thank you, gbg. I finished of a bottle of the Lois that I'd picked up at BevMo with some spicy Thai food from Sweet Ginger last night. I've grown quite fond of it even though they jacked the price up to @ 12.99, iirc. It's a screwtop also. I'll head over to WF tomorrow and give this one a try.

      2. t
        tavmark Sep 22, 2006 07:09 PM

        PB,

        It's not where Five and Campagnia are.

        It's in the strip mall where Yosemite Falls just went in (corner of Cedar/Champlain & Nees). I'm trying to think if I recall one in where Five is. I don't think so.

        (And I should have read to the end of your post. Sorry.)

        1. PolarBear Sep 22, 2006 07:47 PM

          OK gang, think I've finally got this somewhat sorted out, thanks to help from my SIL who lives in the area.

          The new one at Champlain and Perrin is indeed close to Five resto and Planet Smoothie:

          Eau de Vie
          1102 E Champlain Drive, Suite 108 Ph: 559.434.WINE
          http://www.eaudevie.us/events.html

          The address for Vino 100 is correct, but it is on the NW corner of Champlain and SHEPARD (southbound Champlain becomes Cedar) in the new center where Yosemite Ranch resto is located.

          [Edited to add:

          ]

          Vino 100 website:
          http://www.vino100fresno.com/

          Note that it is not FireFox friendly, haven't bothered to try any other browsers.

          IIRC, there is supposed to be another newcomer in the center at Friant and Ft. Washington Rds.

          6 Replies
          1. re: PolarBear
            glazebrookgirl Sep 23, 2006 12:37 AM

            Thanks for sorting out those addresses, PB. I still get confused in that area of town when Cedar turns into Champlain and then Champlain curves around...anyway, thanks for the clarification.

            Maybe the place you are thinking about at Friant and Ft. Washington is Bentley's? I think they are opening soon since they are having a job fair this weekend.

            http://www.bentleysmarket.com/market....

            1. re: glazebrookgirl
              PolarBear Sep 23, 2006 01:33 AM

              Interesting find, gbg. Not sure if this is the same place that my foggy memory is attempting to process. From their website it kinda seems like they're doing a mini-Whole Foods schtick and the wine section mentions items that are hard to find (i.e. expensive?) and nothing I saw about tastings. In any event, worth checking out. My most recent experience of locating hard to find wines in the 'burg this past year or so was seeing the Linne Calodo blends at.... Sierra Nut House??? Of course, when I went back a week or two ago, all they had was the one (iirc) white they offer... no Cherry Red, no Problem Child, etc, etc.

              1. re: PolarBear
                glazebrookgirl Sep 23, 2006 04:59 AM

                Ok, drove by the Friant/Ft. Washington shopping center. Hubby and I saw no signs up for a wine shop as a stand-alone place. Saw Bentley's and their sign is up, but they are still doing some construction on the facade. They look to be fairly close to opening. From the website it looks as though they are going to be doing a speciality type market with hard to find items. The store looks fairly large, probably about as big as Whole Foods. From what I can tell it is a local venture, so it will be interesting to see how many local products they stock.

                P.S. stopped by Eau de Vie, kinda of a chichi place. They stock a lot of wine gift items including leather wine carriers, Reidel stemware, chocolate/wine sauce, etc. They have wines that might be hard to find elsewhere in Fresno, with a lot of Central Coast selections like Peachy Canyon, Norman, Justin, Adelaide, etc.

                The kinda weird thing is that they store all the bottles on their side, which is good for the wines as far as storage goes. However, they have no "sample" bottle out front so you end up pulling every bottle out to see the label. I did pick up a bottle of Quady Essenia from Madera to try for about $13. They will pour you 5 tastes for $7 in a nice little tasting area with white tablecloths.

                Also stopped by Vino 100 and picked up a bottle of Paringa sparkling Shiraz 2004. That was not a typo, it is a sparkling Shiraz which everyone in the store was raving about($16). The woman who helped us previously remembered us and the wine we had bought last time (Oriel Bordeaux Rose, which was fine, but not stellar). Vino 100 offers 5 tastes for $5 and their store does have some gift items and gourmet stuff, but not as much as Eau de Vie. Vino 100 also stores the wine on its side, but keeps a sample bottle standing up so you can see the label. I did pick up a bar of Fran's chocolate(which I love) as well.

                1. re: glazebrookgirl
                  PolarBear Sep 24, 2006 12:05 AM

                  If you liked the Paringa, check with Old Doc's they might have a better price. I waltzed in a couple of weeks ago and got a taste while the salesman was there.

                  I like that Vino 100 is focusing on wines <$25, got the same feeling you described about Eau de Vie, might go tasting when they have somethings of interest, doubt I'd do any purchasing there.

              2. re: glazebrookgirl
                a
                aikido_dude Jan 17, 2008 11:37 AM

                glazebrookgirl,

                Now that Bentley's is open have you ever been to Bentley's Wine Tastings on Saturday's at 3pm? They are awesome!! Usually 40-60 people and they have REAL food on trays during the tasting. Tri-tip, speality cheeses etc. Plus the people i have meet there are super cool! Here is the independant website they use for the tastigns > http://wine.meetup.com/308/ group has 172 members it says.

                Aikido_Dude

              3. re: PolarBear
                a
                aikido_dude Sep 15, 2007 12:07 PM

                Polar Bear,

                Bentley's is now open! They do have an awesome wine selection. Not over priced but truely hard to find wines like Ponzi. A wine produced in low amounts by a restaurant owner up in Oregon. Wonderful little White Wine!
                http://www.bentleysmarket.com/market.html

                Also, as a side note they now have Farmers Market & Classic Car Show on Thursdays. It's been received very well as i would guess about 200 + people were on the Patio. Here is the link for it. http://farmersmarket.meetup.com/1/

                AD

              4. SteveTimko Sep 22, 2006 08:24 PM

                As long as we're talking about Fresno wine shops, does anyone have an opinion of Sam's Italian Deli & Market at 2415 N First St.? They have a couple of wines that I want. I was thinking of swinging off the freeway my next trip to Los Angeles and getting them. He forgot to raise the prices on the wine. But if they haven't been stored properly, there's not much point.
                We have a Vino 100 here in Reno. They have a Faiveley bourgogne for $16 that's outstanding.

                8 Replies
                1. re: SteveTimko
                  glazebrookgirl Sep 22, 2006 11:48 PM

                  Sam's Italian Deli and Market has a good reputation in the community. Hubby and I were talking about heading over there soon to pick up some fresh pasta. Maybe we could swing by this weekend and ask about how he stores the wine. Is there a specific bottle you are interested in? I could see how it is being stored.

                  1. re: glazebrookgirl
                    PolarBear Sep 23, 2006 01:42 AM

                    I love Sam's Deli, and Sam is a delight, I pick up a sand to go from there almost weekly. RE the wines, I've gone in looking for a few specifics, left my phone and email, and whomever is in charge of that area has dropped the ball.

                    The selection of wines is most impressive, from the perspective of ones that you do not usually see in other shops. I have to agree with the concern that Steve expresses about how the wine is stored, I know they draw clientele from all over the city but have to question the turnover, I have noticed the better wines are stored on their sides in cases while others are vertical on the shelves. For a local it should pose no problem, but someone passing through would be at a major inconvenience in returning a sub-par bottle, though I cannot imagine any problem from Sam in doing so, whatsoever.

                    Bottom line I guess is, go in take a look, the man hasn't been in business for 50 yrs or so for nothing, and my knowledge of good Italian wine is minimal. Definitely please report back.

                    1. re: PolarBear
                      glazebrookgirl Sep 23, 2006 10:17 PM

                      Hopped over to Sam's today to check out the wine scene there. I spoke to D'arcy, the wine manager for the store. She has worked there over 10 years and was happy to explain the wine storage system. The wines out on the shelves are kept upright, but those wines have a max time of 3 months out there and are generally for people who will drink them now. For those who are cellaring, she has a temperature controlled cellar in the back where $50+ or collector type wines are stored either on their side or upside down. You can request to go back and see the cellar in the back and any wine that is out front is also in the back cellared correctly. So it seems as though she is really on top of it. She said she would be happy to show a buyer the cellar if arrangements were made ahead of time.

                      There is quite a varied selection of wines with a good selection of CA wines from both Napa and the Central Coast. There is also quite an Italian selection, but I know almost nothing about Italian wines.

                      Hope this answers your questions re: Sam's. It is really a jewel for Fresno with a deli that churns out amazing sandwiches, a good selection of imported cheeses/meats, pasta, olives, and fresh baked bread. Hubby had an amazing New York pastrami sandwich there today, which he will post about soon.

                      Sam's Italian Deli
                      (559) 229-9346
                      samsitaliandeli.com
                      2415 N 1st St
                      Fresno, CA 93703

                      1. re: glazebrookgirl
                        PolarBear Sep 23, 2006 10:49 PM

                        Thanks gbg, that explains a lot. The younger fellow I dealt with didn't seem all that knowledgeable, and he was the one that didn't respond to my email request or return call request. Now I know who to ask for. Also had no clue about the back storage area. Great recon work!!!!

                        Cheers,

                        Dave

                        1. re: PolarBear
                          f
                          FAT Traveler Sep 17, 2007 08:26 PM

                          I suggest you also try Wine Styles in Fig Garden Village. Rudy, has an arrangement where you can buy a bottle of wine at retail and he'll chill it if necessary and provide glasses for you to consume it on beaurtiful patio. You can also order appetizers from various FGV restaurants and they'll deliver them to you on the patio. It's really a nice place to have a bottle of wine before eating dinner at Pangea, Elbow Room , Chef's Table, or the Ripe Tomato. And, there are two new restaurants about to open within about 250 ft--a Chinese upscale bistro and the new "Slates" derivitave.

                          1. re: FAT Traveler
                            cocktailqueen77 Sep 17, 2007 10:55 PM

                            Belana is the name (spelling unsure) of the Slates derivitave. The opening of the restaurant has been postponed frequently, due to what?? I am not sure...I have heard that the liquour license had caused some delay's...The China Bistro I have heard nothing about!! Where in the FGV is it located?

                            1. re: cocktailqueen77
                              s
                              spicegirls Sep 17, 2007 11:34 PM

                              The China Bistro is located right next to Tomodachi and in the same section as Wine Styles and Belana. I passed through there when we went to try out Pangea..the newest restaurant in FGV to open.

                            2. re: FAT Traveler
                              f
                              FAT Traveler Jan 17, 2008 06:49 PM

                              Sadly, Wine Styles has ceased business as of January 1, 2008. That leaves the two neighbors--Wine Styles & Tien Ju both OB.

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