Are you going to have pancakes for dinner tonight in celebration of Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day? Let us give you some pairing ideas.
Pancakes and fruit: If you’re eating fresh fruit or a fruit based syrup or sauce with your pancakes, go with a sweet wine as well. Vino Aquino wines that would pair well with this type of pancakes would include our Bittersweet - Seville Orange Sangria, Cloud 9 – Peach Chardonnay.
Pancakes and maple syrup: I would stick with a sweet dessert wine for pancakes with maple syrup. Try our Honeycrush Ice Wine.
Chocolate pancakes: Dessert pancakes also deserve a nice dessert wine. Pair with our Sugar Daddy – Chocolate Port. Or our limited edition Red Velvet dessert wine.
Savory pancakes: Do you eat your pancakes with ham and cheese? Serve this with a nice dry white wine like our Cat’s Meow – Australian Chardonnay.
Happy Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday!
As most of you know, Rich, who has been managing our winery for almost 15 years has retired. Rich has done a great job. He has established connections, forged relationships, he made friends, some of them for life. What he started as a wine and beer making shop morphed into something I don’t think any of us expected back then. He made the wine for winemakers to taste before they bought their kits. Then many customers wanted to buy the wine, so Vino Aquino became a winery.
Since those early days, our business has expanded. We still have the wine and beer making equipment. We buy grapes, sell merchandise, help non-profits, create personalized labels, hold events, and sell distilling products as well. The majority of our sales come from our wine sales. Why am I telling you all this?
I’ve taken over the winery. I worked at the shop about ten years ago, and now I’m back to let Rich ride off into his retirement sunset, which he so greatly deserves. Some of you know this. Some of you know me. All of you should know that I’m not Rich. I strive to keep the welcoming, family spirit within the shop that Rich created. I have and plan to continue to establish connections, forge relationships, and make friends. However, changes need to be made. This is because I came into the shop while it struggles to survive.
People don’t like change, I know this. I don’t like change. But to keep the shop going, that is what needs to happen. My plans are simple. Nurture the areas that bring in the most money while still satisfying our entire customer base. As I said, our wine sales keep us afloat. To sell more wine, a few things need to happen. I need to produce more wine, hold more events, and participate in more festivals. With the help of my Aunt Francie and Uncle Stan, this is happening. I’ve cut down the wine list to produce more of the ones we make. We’re adding many public events to our calendar. Eventually, I’d like to start a wine club.
Developing this area of the business means there is less money for the other sections in the store and I know many of you have noticed this already. Unfortunately, this is a necessity in order to stay open. Believe me when I say this though, all of our customers are important. Whether you are buying wine, wine kits, turbo yeast, beer bottles, whatever, every customer is essential to our livelihood. I’m trying to keep wine making kits and equipment as well stocked as possible. However, I still may not be able to keep as many kits and equipment on the shelf as I’d like, but I’m willing to special order anything you want or need.
The same goes with beer making and distilling. I will be carrying the things that sell the most, but if you need something not on the shelf, please tell me and I will order it. It usually takes less then a week to get an order.
Also, keep in mind, I’ve only been back since September and I’m still learning. I’m learning about every aspect of the business including the ordering of product. Trying to figure out what we need, when we need it and how much - it’s a learning curve. I’m trying. I’m doing my best. Please be patient with me.
The most important part of my mission is to keep Vino Aquino open. I want to make it a lovely, classy, but comfortable and relaxed venue for people to have a glass of wine, to hold wine tasting events, to come for our public events whether it’s music, art and wine night, cooking classes or singles night. Vino Aquino will still make quality wines (hopefully with the help of Rich), both traditional and unique, for purchase. We will still carry the wine making kits and equipment for our home winemakers. We will order what all of our customers need if it is not on our shelves.
Change is hard. It’s true. All of us involved feel the change at Vino Aquino is a positive thing. It allows Rich to retire, allows us to stay open and hopefully thriving, and allows us to serve our customers as best we can, with quality products and the spirit of friendship and family. That is something not easy to find in business these days.
My name is Megan. I’m your new neighborhood winery manger. Come in and say hi.
Do you love wine, but need a little help when it comes to recommendations and pairings? Look no further. We have found 8 apps for you. From Label scanners to lists, to recommendations, the following apps are prepared to assist you in finding and buying the perfect wine for any occasion. We give you the rating, the reason why they’re good, but of course, all things have at least some bad ratings, so we’re also sharing complaints made for the apps. Weigh the good and bad before choosing the apps right for you. Here we go…
1. Hello Vino - Wine Guide
Hello Vino is your virtual wine shopping assistant.
3.5 Star Rating
2. Vivino Wine Scanner
Vivino is your partner in wine, always with you and ready to help you pick, remember and share your wines.
4.3 Star Rating
3. Cellar Tracker
CellarTracker is the world's largest collection of wine reviews, tasting notes and personal stories from people who love wine.
4.2 Star Rating
4. The Wine Coach
The official App of Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach whose mission is to demystify wine one glass at a time!
3.9 Star Rating
5. What’s Next? Wine
Add all the wines you are trying out. Like or dislike them when you do try them.
4.6 Star Rating
Track your favorite wines, find wines, learn about wine, save wine notes, read wine reviews, share wines with friends, and buy wine for home delivery, all in seconds.
3.7 Star Rating
7. Delectable Wine - Scan & Rate
Delectable is a critically-acclaimed free app that helps you get access to the world's best wine.
4.4 Star Rating
Plonk touts themselves as the secret weapon for finding the wine styles you like, wherever you are.
4.4 Star Rating
Vino Aquino is going through a transition period. We’ve rebranded, rearranged the furniture, and we’re starting to do more events for our clientele. It’s hard to believe we’ve been around for 15 years already, in our new location for about 6. It’s time for a shift and to try, even more, to get the word out about what we do.
The goal is to transform ourselves into more of a boutique winery. We of course will still carry the wine making kits and equipment. Many of our loyal customers are wine makers. However, we want to produce more wine and host more events. The best of both worlds, right? We’ve already opened up the party area. We’ve brought in artists to consign their work with us (if you’re an artist that would like us to consign for you, let us know), we have events planned through the next couple months, and like I said, we’ve rebranded.
Let’s talk about the rebranding. Our family comes from a long line of wine makers. My great grandfather, Gaspero Aquino, has, and continues to grace our labels – he is the symbol of Vino Aquino. Our new tag line, “Taste the Tradition” follows that custom of wine making that has been in our family for generations. Those of us who own and run the winery are all family and we like to think we treat everyone who walks through our doors as family as well.
Since our wine making history travels back a century (probably more) we thought it would be appropriate to give a vintage feel to our new brand. Old wine barrels, time-worn insignia – and our wines have all been renamed from vintage slang. Don’t worry, we still have most of your favorites, they’re just under another name now. If you can’t find it, just ask. Plus, we have a new menu to help you on your quest to find the Peach Chardonnay or Ice Wine.
Vino Aquino has already hosted many events – cooking classes, wine and art nights, nonprofit fundraisers. Our first annual Holiday Shop and Sip in December was a huge success. We want to do more. Last night we hosted our first National Wine Drinking Day event. We laid out light snacks, hired an acoustic guitarist and of course, served our wines. In the future we hope to start a singles club, wine club, have customer appreciation nights, and much, much more. Keep an eye on our Facebook, check out our calendar on the website, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay abreast of upcoming events.
Of course, you can still schedule a private wine tasting party for your friends, family, co-workers, or whoever else you want there. We’ve done parties for birthdays, business, showers, and just for fun. You bring the food, we bring the wine, as always.
Don’t forget about our personalized labels. This is probably the number one unique service we offer our customers. Bring in a picture and we can do one label or 100 for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and more. We can create labels for your business and nonprofit, your rock band or your school. The options are limitless.
A brand is more than a pithy catchphrase or a new logo though. A brand is a promise to our customers. We will keep offering you quality wines at affordable prices. Our shop’s atmosphere is laid back and friendly. When you walk through the door, we want you to feel welcomed, at home, like family.
So come on in. Taste some wine. Sit for a spell. Have a chat. We look forward to seeing you.
Your new manager at Vino Aquino (with big shoes to fill)
Megan Bostic is Gaspero Aquino's great granddaughter. She worked at the shop about 10 years ago, and is back so Rich can finally retire. She's also a marketer, freelance writer and novelist. You can find her books on Amazon, and her novel Dissected is being sold at Vino Aquino.
Tacoma, WA 98406