On the Island of Nantucket just outside of town located on 1 North Beach Street, lies a magical entryway to a fantastic boutique wine shop Épernay Wines and Spirits. We had the pleasure of doing a trunk show in store a few weeks ago during their weekly wine tasting (occurs every Thursday). As the only sommelier owned wine store on the island and with their carefully curated weekly wine tastings, this is a wine lovers shop not to overlook. Because we can't get enough, we sat down with Jennie Benzie, Owner and Advanced Sommelier to dive deeper into all that is Épernay!
(WF): How did you get started in the wine business?
(JB): I graduated from college and was wait listed for grad school, so I thought I would do some domestic travel. I got a job waiting tables at a ski resort in Montana and loved the whole wine aspect of the job. Eventually I got a job at Caneel Bay Resort on St. John in the USVI and was hoping to be a bartender on the beach. I ended up as a wine steward instead and the rest is history.
(WF): Épernay, has such nice ring to it, how did you come up with the name of your store?
(JB): Épernay is one of two main towns in the Champagne region. I bought the store several years ago and that was the name from the original owner who had honeymooned there. I liked the sound of it and we do sell a lot of bubbles, so we kept the name the same.
(WF): It seems like you love wine as much as we do, in three words, describe your love affair with wine?
(JB): Champagne, Chablis, Rosé
(WF): At WINEFARER, we love hearing about the unexpected journeys that stem from wine. Can you share you favorite wine journey with us?
(JB): While there are many amazing wine journeys, here is just one...
I spent a month by myself in Spain traveling via car to tour as many wine regions as I possibly could in that short amount of time. It was my first time to the country and I made it clear to my host wineries that it was important to me that I see some cultural sites as well. The first winemaker I visited (who was 6 months pregnant at the time) drove me over an hour each way to see the windmill's of La Mancha in Consuegra that were written about in Don Quixote. Even though she had grown up in the area, she had never been and thanked me for the opportunity to make that happen.