Mill Valley’s Vintage Wine & Spirits
Wine, wine everywhere, but not a drop to drink—unless you pay for it, of course. This sums up the general effect of perusing the offerings of Mill Valley’s Vintage Wine & Spirits. Suddenly, we are ancient mariners, bobbing like corks atop a wine-dark sea and overcome with thirst. No one window shops at Vintage Wine & Spirits, no one simply browses—those who walk into the establishment on Throckmorton Avenue are going to buy some wine. There’s a selection for every palate and pocket book. Pony up and set sail.
Recently, I picked up a moody little pinot noir for a dinner party that was only a droplet or two over $20 and boasted the kind of branding that makes literary chumps like me swoon: the 2018 Esoterica by Kent Rasmussen.
This ruddy little pinot hails from the North Coast AVA and, besides boasting a name with a high Scrabble score potential, it’s a lighter red in which red berry aromas give way to toasted sourdough and fresh leather, undergirded with a well-earned earthiness and a whisper of caramel. It made a splash.
A local institution for decades, the bottle shop is owned by the Canepa family, who locals will know as the multigenerational proprietors of the nearby Mill Valley Market, which takes pride in the fact that it’s passed its business interests like an olympic torch down through the family, generation after generation. Currently, Ryan Canepa oversees the wine interests, and he has entrusted the ever-friendly Norman Kaehn—pictured above—to helm the downtown storefront. Wine lovers are heartily encouraged to drop an anchor and walk the plank into this liquid treasure trove, which not only offers imported and domestic wine selections, but spirits of every stripe, as well as sherry, port, dessert wine and even sake. Ahoy!
Vintage Wine & Spirits, 82 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415.388.1626. Vintagewines.biz.