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Fine Wine & Tastings on Main opens at Lakewood Ranch

Fine Wine & Tastings on Main opens

Lakewood Ranch Main Street store features more than 400 types of wine and a knowledgeable staff.
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Lakewood Ranch Main Street store features more than 400 types of wine and a knowledgeable staff.

Fine Wine & Tastings on Main recently opened at 8111 Lakewood Ranch Main Street, offering more than 400 wines from around the world.

First-time customer Pamela Romeo was enjoying the company of three others at the bar while trying a glass of white wine.

“It’s nice to sample by the glass before I buy a bottle,” Romeo said. “The store has wines that I can try at an inviting price.”

A glass of wine sells for $7 to $15. Half the inventory of 5,000 bottles sells for less than $20.

Romeo also appreciated the layout of the store by country of origin, and by groupings of reds, whites and sparklings.

Fine Wine had its first tasting event on May 10, attracting 60 wine lovers to sample 15 wines, owner Scott Shortt said.

It’s nice to sample by the glass before I buy a bottle.

Pamela Romeo

Fine Wine plans monthly tastings. Customers can check finewineandtastings.com for announcements on future events, said Shortt, who majored in resort and hospitality management at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Also planned are wine walks and a wine academy, during which the subject might be wine-producing regions or a specific wine.

Helping Shortt run the business are his son, Scott, and assistant manager Sarah Dorsen, as well as Dr. Jim Shortt, Scott’s father and an orthopedic surgeon with a seemingly encylopedic knowledge of wine.

Dr. Shortt published the Wine Press, Canada’s largest wine magazine, and hosted an annual wine show in Toronto that attracted thousands.

The Shortts immigrated to the United States in 1991.

There is a wine for everyone. You just have to find it.

Dr. Jim Shortt

“It’s been a lot of fun starting the wine store and the wine bar at Lakewood Ranch. We have met a lot of very nice people who have come in to visit. It’s fun helping my son. There is a wine for everyone. You just have to find it,” Dr. Shortt said.

Scott Shortt’s mother, Leslie, and her friend Teresa Tincher designed the interior for Fine Wine, using calming, darker colors as well as lots of wine racks and wood surfaces.

Although the focus is on wine, the store also carries beer and some snacks, such as cheeses and sausages.

The store opens at 11 a.m. daily, and closes at 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 p.m. Sunday.

Why an 11 a.m. opening?

“The reason we start at 11 is because Winston Churchill had a glass of champagne in his hand every day at 11 a.m., and if it was good enough for Winston, it’s good enough for us,” Dr. Shortt quipped.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1

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