Sunday afternoon the kids and I went blueberry picking at Emmi Farms in Baldwinsville, New York. We had a lot of fun and it was an adventure to drive down into the field to pick. The prices were more than reasonable and we were able to grab the first corn of the season, too. Yum!
After that, we decided to take a drive to Camillus, New York to check out a new retailer, Vine and Barrel, about which I had heard so many good things. Well, despite the nearly 30 five-star reviews on its Facebook page, my experience was less than desirable.
First of all, we walked in to see about five store clerks milling about, two of which were behind a large tasting bar. But despite the bar set-up there was nothing out for tasting. It was approximately 2:45 p.m. on a Sunday so I would have expected something. Usually, when stores have tasting bars, there is something set up. One of the ladies said hello in a noncommittal way. My daughter and I were the only ones in the store.
We went back to the fine wine room to check out the selection, which I had heard was unique. No one followed us. No one asked us if they could help us find anything. I was shocked. We meandered through the rest of the shop looking at the selection. Although they were touted as having the largest selection of New York wines, I didn’t find it to be any different from some of the other local shops.
We selected a Riesling from the Mosel region of Germany, a Malbec from Argentina and a $30 bottle of Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, as our splurge wine.
The Riesling was excellent and went well with our salmon and fresh corn for dinner. But honestly, I won’t be back to Vine and Barrel. It just wasn’t a pleasant atmosphere to be completely ignored. Oh, and whatever was going on with the intermittent loud 1970s rock music was quite distracting while we shopped. I definitely did not have the same experience as so many who sang its praises.
What’s more, I feel like it needs to grow into its space a bit more. It was cavernous in there and not at all homey and welcoming as I would expect a home-town wine retailer to be. At least we enjoyed our summer Riesling!