The Bottom Line
- Emphasis on individual customers' tastes, not trends or "shoulds."
- Even the most basic questions about wines and cigars are treated respectfully.
- Reasonably priced, superb quality inventory.
- Wine tastings are held evenings, Thursday-Saturday.
- On request, they record what you buy, so you don't have to memorize wine or cigar names.
- The shop gets crowded on wine-tasting nights.
- Sometimes, 20-questions about wine can be overwhelming.
- Address: 1816 W. 5th Ave., Columbus, OH 43212
- Phone: (614) 488-6113
- Hours: M-F: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Th-Sat.: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun.: noon-5 p.m.
- Email: TheTwistedVine@wowway.com
Guide Review - Twisted Vine -- Fine Wines and Cigars
Twisted Vine co-owners Jonna Brandon and Kirk Finfrock try everything before it gets on the shelves. It has to be good, no matter what the price point is. "I don't care if it's $5.99," Brandon says. "If it's not good, we're not offering it."
Brandon and Finfrock teamed up for the shop when its previous owner retired. Finfrock knew and loved cigars, and he wanted a partner who felt the same way about wines. Brandon seemed the perfect choice. At that time, she was wine director at Hill's Market in north Columbus, and had started the Market's popular series of after hours wine-dinners. She also had the import and wholesaler background necessary.
Brandon delights in giving people new ways to think of wine. She's very excited about some rose wines that defy conventional expectations -- these wines are full flavored and bright, not ho-hum boring. She thinks they combine the lightness people want in hotter months with much of the complexity of darker reds.
In addition to fine cigars and wines, the Grandview shop has a small stock of good olive oil, pasta, pesto and tomato sauce -- everything you need for a basic Italian meal except the salad. There's also a popular wine bar. Three evenings a week, Thursday-Saturday, Twisted Vine offers sample fights of six wines, and as much discussion as customers want. You may also purchase a bottle of wine and drink it there for a small corkage fee.
If she wanted to, Brandon could out-snoot the snootiest of wine snobs. But she thinks "attitudes" about wine are boring and miss the real point: Wine is a beverage that is meant to be enjoyed.