We developed a powerful thirst relocating to North Carolina from 600 miles away. Luckily we discovered Cellar 55 in our new hometown.
Wine Oasis Ahead
We were scouting out a fitness club in our new town when I happened to spy the sign for Cellar 55 across the street. I was hoping this wasn’t a misleading sign for a new fashion store for ‘tweens. All thoughts of that were dispelled when we walked in the door. Displays of wine and craft beer stretched wall to wall. That was just the first of what I expect will be many visits.
The shop, located at 1351 E. Broad St. in Fuquay-Varina, NC, in Fuquay Crossing shopping center, is owned by Bill and Karyl Wigington. The mission is to provide advice and education so that all can understand and enjoy what they are drinking at all price points. We’ll put it more simply, this is “home sweet home” for area wine lovers who want an eclectic selection of bottles, free tastings, wine pairing events and education.
A Social Hub For Vino
The wines on display are very diverse, with good selections from some of our favorite areas including Washington State, South Africa, Spain, Oregon and Paso Robles. No one should ever walk out of the store without a bottle – too many good choices.
On Fridays and Saturdays, there are free tastings of both beer and wine. Wine Specialist Jim Breece has handled the wine tastings each time I’ve been there. He’s friendly and knowledgeable. The back half of the store is the tasting room, with individual tables and seating areas and a large communal table. One of my favorite features is the “wall of wine,” a Wine Station dispenser that allows you to use a swipe card to dispense any of 16 different wines in three different portion sizes (and prices).
The Wine Station is a stellar feature. In addition to being a dispenser, it is a wine preservation system, ensuring you won’t have a spoiled glass of wine. You have the chance to take small samples of wine – or dispense a whole glass. It’s an excellent way to sample a variety of wines. A nearby corkboard displays tasting notes and pricing on each featured bottle. I sampled the 2012 “The Ball Buster” Shiraz blend from Australia and it did indeed pack a flavorful punch.
The large communal table can be used for socializing or for one of the many events/programs put on by Cellar 55. They also offer a “small bites” menu ranging from olives to charcuterie or even dessert chocolate (nice for those Cabernets).
The Educated Grape
Specials abound at Cellar 55. Wednesday is 10% off beer and wine by the glass. Every day they offer 20% off growler fills. They also offer discounts on purchases of three bottles of special selection wines and a discount on case wine purchases.
Cellar 55 opened its doors in July 2016. Just a year later it is making an indelible impression on the wine landscape in Wake County. There’s only one way you can be sure – walk in their door and grab a glass!