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Winesday with The Wine Shop – FAQs

Dan and Ellen O’Connell at The Wine Shop in Koloa. Photo courtesy of The Wine Shop.

Dan and Ellen O’Connell at The Wine Shop in Koloa. Photo courtesy of The Wine Shop.


Tasting Kauai is happy to partner with the O’Connells for Winesday with The Wine Shop. Owners Dan and Ellen O’Connell are a delightful couple whose passion for wine is infectious, their knowledge is vast, and their service is friendly. Their beautiful store carries everything from wine and spirits to gourmet foods and sweet treats. Check in with Tasting Kauai every Wednesday to learn about their favorites. ¡Salud!
From our first blog that we started a couple of months ago, we have discussed particular varietals, growing areas, the different countries that make wines and several different winemakers. This week we would like to address some of the questions that are asked frequently at The Wine Shop.
winesHere’s one we get from our visitors. Is there local wine made here? Our reply would be that you have to define here, Kauai or the State of Hawaii. If the answer is Kauai, no we do not make wine with grapes on Kauai. We make a honey wine called mead, created by Nani Moon Mead using indigenous fruit from Kauai. If the answer is Hawaii, then we would let them know that Maui makes wine from grapes at Tededshi Winery and the Big Island has the Volcano Winery.
Another great question that is asked is what wine goes with the diverse styles of cuisine offered here in Hawaii. My first question back to them is what wine do you like to drink? With today’s red and white wines being so varied, it is easy to pair either red or white with any type of local fare. Spicy foods can be paired with a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio or perhaps even a White Bordeaux. If you were looking for something with grilled ahi or mong chong, we would suggest a nice light red Pinot Noir or perhaps even a beautiful soft Italian red. Now let’s talk steaks, chicken or ribs. We have a full line of giant reds that we would recommend with this hearty food like Zinfandels, Cabernets Sauvignons or Syrahs. Believe it or not, a luau feast would pair well with a large flavored Pinot Noir or Rhone style red. If Japanese is on the menu, of course ice-cold sake would work great, but if you were looking for something different try a bone dry Riesling.
This next question we don’t really get asked a lot but with the holiday season approaching it is a good time to address. If you are hosting a dinner party and invite guests over and they bring a bottle of wine, do you put the wine away or do you open it for your guests? Our thought process would go something like this. Does the wine pair well with the dinner menu? If so, save it for dinner and open it up then. If it is a better wine to start the evening off then open it right away. The only time that we would not open a bottle would be if the guest handed you the wine and asked you to put it away for another time. Then you can just store it and enjoy on another evening! Hope to see everybody at the wine shop this holiday season.
Aloha,
Dano and Ellen O’Connell
The Wine Shop is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. On the first Saturday of each month from 4 to 7 p.m., they host monthly wine tastings. For more information call 808-742-7305 or visit www.thewineshopkauai.com. The shop is located just across the street from the Koloa Post Office.

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