Wine at Parker and Otis

As I’ve said before, I miss being in the wine business and am excited about a new opportunity that I have to get back into the business without having my own shop, but still being able to taste new wines that come into the market or new vintages of wines already there, and also be able to sell wine on a limited basis.

I’ve arranged with Jennings Brody, the proprietor and force behind Parker and Otis (within walking distance of our loft in downtown Durham), to spend a little time each week in her wine department.


Here’s what’s exciting to me… wine is a subjective thing, but sometimes you taste something that seems to deliver a lot of wine in the customer’s glass for less money than it seems it should cost. I’m not talking about $5.00 wines or $2-buck chuck or such … I bought a wine at Parker and Otis yesterday, one of my friend Andre Tamers’ wines which he imports from Spain – a 2008 Luberri Vineyards Rioja that retails for $18.99, which I thought tasted like a $50.00 wine. In fact, I thought all of the people stuck on expensive California wines should try this Rioja … it has some of the fullness in the mouth and accessible fruit that California wines feature but is so much more complex and elegant on the palate.

The second thing I find interesting about selling wine is that when a wine is good in a particular vintage, once it is gone it is gone so there is some sense of urgency, not like selling pencils or socks where you just order more and you’re never out of stock.

I was delighted to see that Jennings had a number of wines that I love and haven’t been able to find anywhere else because the distributors are out of them. There is a Rosso distributed by Jay Murrie which I love and have a funny story about … remind me to tell you tomorrow afternoon at Parker and Otis. As of Wednesday morning there were a few bottles left in stock for those of you that come early.

Jennings also had three other wines that I am very fond of that are out of stock at their respective distributors … a muscadet from the vigneron I consider the genius of that part of France, Marc Olivier … a frappato, a native red grape from Sicily, which I like to recommend to folks looking for a red wine to serve with certain fish dishes … and a counoise, one of only thirteen grapes allowed in the blend used to make Chateauneuf du Pape. There is one particular domaine that makes a wine that is 100% counoise – not a Chateauneuf du Pape but at 1/10 of the price it is quite good. This wine would probably fall under the category of a Farmer’s table wine, which I wrote about in an earlier post. There was only one bottle left that I snatched up, but there are many other goodies at Parker and Otis.

Hope to see you at Parker and Otis tomorrow – I plan to be there from 4-6.

Parker and Otis
112 S. Duke St.
Durham, NC 27701

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