WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport’s Liquor Locker has a new owner — wine maven Cory D’Addario.
D’Addario recently purchased the nearly 50-year-old institution from Harvey Skolnick. His nephew, Seth Sholes, will remain a partner, and Pat and Lou and Harvey will continue offering their knowledgeable support to customers.
D’Addario is a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who has been a part of the wine business for over 20 years. When you come in, you’ll be greeted like an old friend. When you ask for a wine suggestion, her first question is, “What’s your menu?”
Her real expertise is matching a wine to your meal, helping the hostess or host make a dinner party a success, from hors d’oeuvres to dessert — along with, perhaps, a bit of menu guidance.
Her preferences run to labels you may not know, ones that are “sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and fair trade,” wines from smaller vineyards — “artisanals” rather than better known mass-produced brands.
In an artisanal product, the grapes are grown and the wines are produced using ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible practices, without pesticides or synthetic additives, D’Addario said.
These wines are more carefully made and offer a richer, clearer, more vibrant and balanced “mouth feel” than many of the well-known brands, she said.
Fair trade means treating workers with respect, paying them appropriately, and not taking advantage of them, she said.
Add in “terroir,” a favorite word from D’Addario. Wines are products of the soil in which the grapes are grown. Often smaller vineyards near those supplying well-known labels yield grapes of equal quality, yet their wines sell for less because the wineries are smaller, and they lack professional marketing. These are the stock-in- trade of Liquor Locker.
Important also at Liquor Locker is that a wine “outperform its price.” The wine drinker, whether a novice bottle-at-a-time buyer or a veteran collector, will find something to enjoy at Liquor Locker — from the $10 sit on the back porch and enjoy the summer wine to the exquisite $2,500 case still three years away.
Liquor Locker will soon have a new website. It will host educational programs and tastings beginning in the fall. Stop by the store at 411 Post Road E. in the Compo Shopping Center.