Sande's Picks: Local wine shops are special places

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Why shop at a local store when chain grocery and warehouse stores offer convenience and good selection?

If you care about wine, want to be confident when trying something new, and want to be part of a friendly, adventurous “community” of wine-interested people, try cultivating a relationship with a knowledgeable and engaging wine merchant.

Trust will soon develop and you will feel comfortable taking advice from someone like Ann at Tess’ Market in Brunswick, or Paula at Bow Street Market in Freeport. Here are some local establishments where you can start – or continue – your adventure.

Brunswick:

• Tess’ Market carries an incredible selection of wines and beers; 54 Pleasant St., 729-9531.

• Vessel and Vine, frequent tastings and classes; 4 Pleasant St., 721-3000.

• Zack’s Country Store, wines, beers, spirits; 641 Gurnet Road, 725-2821.

Freeport:

• Bow Street Market, wines, beers, spirits and climate-controlled wine cellar; 79 Bow St., 865-5531.

• Freeport Trading Co., wines, beers, cigars; 9 Main St., 865-4669.

• Royal River Natural Foods, organic, biodynamic and sulfite-free wines; 443 U.S. Route 1, 865-0046.

Harpswell:

• Black Sheep Wine Co., specializes in small production, estate-grown wines and craft beers; free wine tastings, Saturdays 2-6 p.m.; 105 Mountain Road, 725-9284.

Topsham:

• Village Wines, noon-6 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday; 54 Main St. (rear), 577-8493.

• Bootleggers, 13 Hamilton Court, 725-5555.

Food & Beverage Events

May 11

Bow Street Market, Tasting of Villa Wolf Wines from the Pfalz region of Germany, 3-5:30 p.m., 79 Bow St., Freeport, 865-6631, free.

May 12 – Mother’s Day

Brunswick Hotel & Tavern, Mother’s Day Brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This is a served brunch with fresh spring offerings, 4 Noble St., Brunswick, 837-6565, adults $39, seniors $35, reservations required.

Harraseeket Inn, Mother’s Day Grand Buffet, noon – 2:30 p.m.; 162 Main St., Freeport, 865-9377 or 800-342-6423, $80 per person, reservations required.

Tao Yuan Restaurant, Gastronomic tour of Sichuan, 4-8 p.m. Special menu filled with traditional regional dishes. Beverages priced separately. This dinner continues their gastronomic tour of China, which runs through May 26; 22 Pleasant St., Brunswick, 725-9002, $48 per person, reservations highly recommended.

Muddy Rudder Mother’s Day Buffet, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., adults $34.95, seniors $32.95, children under 12 $12.95; 1335 U.S. Route 1, Yarmouth, 846-3082, reservations recommended.

May 18

Bootleggers, Wine Tasting, 2-6 p.m., free, 13 Hamilton Court, Topsham, 725-5555.

Food Features

Frontier Café this week features Tofu Noodle Bowl and Mozzarella Panino, and “Mariner’s Revenge” drink specials; Fort Andross Mill 3, 14 Maine St., Brunswick, 725-5222.

On Wednesdays through May, Tao Yuan offers a Chef’s Tasting menu for $48 instead of the regular $68. After Memorial Day, it will be open Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.

Sande Updegraph lives in Brunswick and is a longtime food writer. She can be reached at sandeupdegraph@gmail.com.

Tess’ Market on Pleasant Street in Brunswick.

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