On June 15, Nocatee’s Coastal Wine Market celebrated its third anniversary by holding a complimentary wine tasting for the community.
Festivities included raffles, giveaway prizes, tapas and, of course, wine, with glasses overflowing as quickly as the establishment overflowed with guests.
“It was a great turnout,” Coastal Wine Market co-owner Steve Lourie said. “There were lots of hugging and congratulations. We love our guests and it’s just great to see them come in and be happy for us and that we’ve given everyone just a happy place to hang out.”
So many guests joined in the celebration that chef of Coastal Wine Market, Jody Petronella, doubled as the doorman of the building, chatting up and entertaining guests as they waited for the green light to enter the tasting.
“That’s the funny thing, everyone was really happy,” Petronella said of the waiting guests. “We got a little outdoor patio, so people were happy to stay and wait their turn just to come in and say hello to me, Steve and Shaun, the owners, and the other folks that work there. It was really heartwarming, the way they all just wanted to come and say, ‘We’re glad you’re here and we support you and what you’re doing.’”
Before Petronella manned the door, he and his culinary team prepared some tapas and desserts to pair with the selected wines. Savory cheese platters and pâtés were served, along with cheesecake and Petronella’s famous cannolis to satisfy any sweet tooth.
“Chef Jody’s been an amazing addition to the team and his food is becoming part of what we are,” Lourie said. “The people come for his food, as well as the wine. He’s doing events and partnering with other restaurants and wine bars. It’s good to get his talent out there so people know just how good the food is here. It just becomes a neat experience and makes it (CWM) that much cooler.”
When asked what his favorite part was about co-owning Coastal Wine Market is, Lourie didn’t hesitate to say it’s all about the guests and relationships made.
“It’s tough to not view our guests as friends,” he said. “I’m not trying to be cheesy, but it’s these faces; they become part of the whole vision and concept, part of the reason why we’re where we are.”
Lourie has no plans on stopping where they’re at. He hopes CWM will continue to flourish with its “Meet the Winemaker” series, where winemakers stop by for a meet-and-greet to discuss their experiences in the wine business and possible food and wine pairings.
He also mentioned the growth of the CWM Wine Club, where members get a first look at the newest available wines, the most recent specials and most upcoming events.
Overall, CWM’s third year in business was just as successful, if not, more than the last.
“Our annual anniversary has kind of turned into a signature event and we just love seeing the new faces every year,” Lourie said. “We’re just looking forward to number four.”