Casa di Vino’s Wine Down Winter Recommendations
By: Jeremy Morris
We are in the final push of winter. Spring may be peeking around the corner, but our favorite meteorologists have all assured us that March and April have rarely been snow-free. We thought to check in with one of Wheeling’s favorite wine shops, Casa di Vino, to see what local folks have been purchasing this winter.
It is our offering to you as a final casting off of the winter blues.
Located in the Centre Market Historic District, Casa di Vino was opened in 2009 by local entrepreneurs Greg and Diane Myers. They launched the venue initially alongside their restaurant The Market Vines.
Corey Manning was their first employee and he never left. He admits that his knowledge of wine was modest when he took the job, “I was in college as West Liberty University and it was a job to help with bills.” However, his love and appreciation of wine and beverages quickly grew. “The more time I spent with our vintners and wholesalers the more I learned, the more my passion grew.”
The Greg and Diane later moved the shop to 2269 Market Street, into the historic Flaccus Brothers Building. Located prominently on the corner of the 23rd and Market Streets, Flaccus Brothers building gave the shop much greater visibility and an elegant space for hosting wine tastings.
In 2019, Corey Manning decided to purchase the business from Greg and Diane. As sole owner, he continues to grow Wheeling’s access to wines of the world and the shop plays a critical role in the growth of the Centre Market Historic District.
Casa di Vino’s Wine Down Winter Recommendations
Treana – Cabernet/Syrah – Austin Hope Winery, Paso Robles, California, 2018. Their cabernet was ranked the number 7 Wine of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and this blend is a perfect value to accompany it. Manning says it has moved quickly off his shelves since New Year. “At $36 a bottle I haven’t had anyone bat an eye at the price, it is easily a $70 bottle in my opinion for that mid-range price.” The Austin Hope Family describes it as a rich-dark wine, robust in flavor and structure; with aromas of fresh ground coffee, leather, and dark fruit to awaken your senses.
Mountain Spice Wine – German Gluewein– West-Whitehill Winery, Moorefield, West Virginia, 2020. A West Virginia made wine that is created in German-style spiced variety. It is decadently delicious this time of year when warmed up. “It has all that clove and cinnamon and even a little nutmeg in there too, people really love warming it up. I personally add some apple cider too,” says Manning.
Port Wines have picked up interest this year, says Manning. “I have always enjoyed Ports,” he says, “but I have finally enticed a lot of my clientele into appreciating them.” Ports are fortified, typically fermentation is halted with a grape spirit, most commonly with brandy. This kicks the alcohol content up to 18.5-21% making it a rich, voluptuous wine.
Manning is working with Yalumba Winery of Australia on its importation of tawny port wines, made in the Portuguese-style. Founded in 1849 Yalumba, defines itself as a fiercely independent, sixth-generation winemaker. It is also one of the world leaders in sustainable wine production, garnering numerous international accolades for operating the most extensive solar system in Australia.
Manning generally offers a 15-year-old port, sold by the half-bottle at $26. However, he is extremely excited to offer Yalumba’s 50-year-old port. Only twelve bottles were made available to the eastern United States. Manning was fortunate to acquire the last few bottles for sale in his Wheeling shop.
Lyeth Cabernet Sauvignon– Lyeth Winery, St. Helena, California. The winery describes the wine with expressive aromatics of red cherry, boysenberry-cedar and a touch of minerality and freshness like a seabreeze. A soft and generous palate with flavors of savory spice, bramble raspberry, chocolate-cherry and a hint of lavender on a long, lingering finish. Manning offers it at the affordable price of $17.
Jeff Runquest Red Blend 1448 – Jeff Runquest Winery – Plymouth, California. Located in Armadour County, the site of California’s oldest vineyards, Runquest Winery is a perennial medal winner for its beautiful bottles and recently was named Winery of the Year. 1448 is a Petite Sirah-based wine that ultimately has seven to eight different grapes blended into it depending on what juices are leftover at the end of the season. “It makes for a unique wine each year and has a higher alcohol content, sure to warm you up on a cold day,” says Manning.
Leese-Fitch Winery – Lodi, California – For value shoppers, Manning says that one can’t go wrong with Leese-Fitch Winery. They are a great value at $12 a bottle and pack a punch with higher alcohol content. “Based in Lodi they get some heat (in their micro-climate) and therefore good, concentrated juice,” he says, “I have their Zin, Red Blend and have pulled the Cab and Pinot into the shop this year.” Manning assures they are all great buys.
Old World Wines are on the move as well. Manning has seen an uptick in interest since the California wildfires; in particular, he has noted an interest in Spanish wines. In the winter, he recommends Grenache, another grape that thrives in a hot, dry climate and results in higher alcohol content. A favorite winery in the shop is the Bodegas Borsao.
Berola Red Blend – Bordegas Borsao Winery, Zaragosa, Spain. This Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon blend packs a hefty punch after 14 months in oak barrels. The wine is blended from 60-year-old Grenache vines and 10-year-old Syrah vines. Manning also offers the Borsao Tres Pico, a 100% grenache wine. Both bottles can be found for under $20 in Casa’s shop.
Casa di Vino also offers a collection of small-batch, micro-brewery beer. Manning has put a real focus of late on small production, barrel-aged stouts from around the country. “These are breweries that are only getting a dozen or so cases imported into the West Virginia so I am always working to get a few cases for the Northern Panhandle,” says Manning. He also has put effort into acquiring Belgian beers. Belgium has one of the tremendous beer-making traditions of the world. It offers unique old-world styles that continue to influence modern beer culture.
Casa also has a humidor and Manning works to have a new array of cigars available for his clientele. A distinguished cadre of stogie connoisseurs visit the shop to peruse the Casa humidor. In a town like Wheeling with a rich history of cigar manufacturing it is important to keep a select choice of cigars for the discriminating aficionado.
You can visit Casa di Vino and Corey Manning at 2269 Market Street.
Phone: (304) 905-8537
Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM