It's A Small World: Wine Tasting With Hoppin Grapes

It’s a small world

From the exterior, Hoppin’ Grapes seems like your basic wine shop, but upon opening the door you enter a whole new world of craft beers, local and exotic wines, and a married couple with undeniable passion for the business and community.

Owners Eric Potvin and Kristine Wolfe are both introductory level sommeliers, wine stewards, and take their knowledge beyond the textbook to educate the wine novice. When talking about their special wine tasting events, Potvin said he made “the Eric System” of tasting wine, asking customers the five S’s: See and Swirl, Smell, Sip, Swallow, and Sale. Each category is given either a plus or minus, making it easy for an amateur taster to evaluate wine. In a town that is new to the art of wine tasting, Hoppin’ Grapes offers a wide variety of wines at their wine tasting events. Typically starting the tasting with a wine that is “in the middle” of sweet and fruity, Potvin and Wolfe use this as a starting point to guide each customer toward a wine that appeals to their individual palate. Beside having special events for wine tasting, Hoppin’ Grapes has a wine tasting menu that they change almost every other day to showcase the many local and foreign wines they have to offer.

Another topic Eric and Kristine like to educate their customers on is the difference between New and Old World wines. New World wines are all wines produced outside of Europe in vineyards that are relatively young. Old World wines are classic European wines, whose grapes are grown in vineyards that have been thriving for over five hundred years! Their primary business focus was on New World wines, but they are slowly introducing classic Old World to the public, like their bestselling Moscatos. The reason for this recent decision to provide Old World wines is to cater to the customers. In a town adjacent to a military installation, soldiers and their families provide Hoppin’ Grapes new business opportunities. To cater to their desires for wines they enjoyed while overseas in Europe, Hoppin’ Grapes provides Italian, French, and German wines, both on tap and in bottles. All it takes is a customer’s inquiry for a specific wine and Hoppin’ Grapes will try their best to purchase that wine.

In an art that is split between New and Old World vineyards, one thing remains true: it is a small world. Sierra Vista is a tightknit community that thrives off of local businesses and Hoppin’ Grapes is a business whose success is evident upon entering the door. Customers are treated like family, local artists and musicians are encouraged to display their talents in the establishment, and the couple that owns and operates the business have a story like none other! Hoppin’ Grapes is Sierra Vista’s quality wine and beer tasting shop offering a good story and extensive knowledge, all while enjoying a refreshing drink and tasty snacks.

By Cera Norris

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