Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Wine Den

The Wine Den, located in Downtown Mt. Dora, is one of the newest wine shop/wine bar combintions in the metro-Orlando area.  Featuring primarily domestic wines, but with a reasonable contribution of wines from the other major wine growing regions of the world, the owners, Christina and Eric Baker, have created a warm, welcoming environment for both the in-and-out shopper and the Saturday afternoon lounger.

The establishment, located at 109 East 4th Street, has been open for a little over 18 months.  Christina had worked as a CEO for a major homebuilding company for a number of years and left after becoming, in her words, "burnt out."  Eric has been working in the electronics industry for a number of years and has traveled extensively as part of his job requirements.  He developed a love and appreciation for, and expertise on, the contents of the vine through exposure on his travels and, when Christina came free from her duties, they decided to put their passion for wines into a business that would allow them to share that passion with others.  Hence The Wine Den.

It is classically outfitted with mahagony panelling backing vertically and horizontally arrayed wine racks.  The bulk of the retail space is in the "front room" which also has a bar that runs along 1/2 of its length towards the back and on the right side as you enter the enter.  A few small two-tops round out the furnisings in this room.  The back sectioon has two large, welcoming, chestnut-brown couches sitting on opposite sides of a large center table.  Additional racking and wines are also located in this area (the bubbles section is located back here).

The Wine Den, with its welcoming owners, varied wine selection, and stable of regular events ( First-Friday tastings, yappy hour, etc.), has attracted a group of loyal regulars who add to the allure of the place (Once they congregate in the front room on a Saturday afternoon it is tough to get to the racks to see what wines are carried but some good-natured ribbing will soon clear you a path to the racks.).

The next time you are in Mt. Dora, be sure to check out The Wine Den.

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