Calendar » Night & Day

Grape Expectations

Cup and Saucer patrons are drinking in the basics.


Diana Timmons, the manager of Cup and Saucer in the City Market, knows that tasting wine can feel awkward, especially for people who were brought up not to spit in public. "I'm just sort of learning about wine, and I think it's intimidating," she says.

That's why her monthly wine tastings are going to be low-key. The idea isn't to provide people with information they can use to one-up snooty acquaintances; it's to give them a sense of what kind of wine they like. Many of us don't even know whether we want a wine that's fruity or dry, which makes ordering wine with dinner more trouble than it's worth.

For the first tasting, Lance Sivertsen of Corkscrew Wines presents five wines for sampling on Monday. Customers can pay either $8 to taste all the wines and drink a full glass of their favorite or $15 for the tasting and a bottle of their favorite.

Cup and Saucer has tried to do this kind of thing before. "What do we have that other places don't have?" Timmons asks. "Booze and coffee both. We are the only coffee house that's also got a full bar, at least that I know of." For a while, she promoted an assortment of coffee-and-alcohol drinks, but in spite of the fact that both substances are highly addictive, it "didn't go over at all for some reason."

Timmons hopes that Cup and Saucer's wine sales -- which have been a little static lately -- will increase as a result of the monthly tastings. She could just give up and stock less wine, but she thinks it's just a matter of educating people. And right after the holidays, people are probably thirsty for this kind of knowledge. "I mean," she says, "nobody wants to look stupid swilling, or whatever you call it."

Add a comment