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If you are someone who wants to expand the range of products you drink yet have a sizable knowledge gap on how exactly to accomplish this, enter stage right: King James Wine located in Bentonville, Arkansas.
In a nutshell, personalized attention. Owner and proprietor James King has more than 25 years in the wine industry and over 13 years teaching about it. As the beverage arts director at Brightwater, A Center for the Study of Food in Bentonville, James King is certified in:
James King’s sweet spot is engaging customers with one-on-one recommendations.
“Literally, every customer I have engaged with will ask me about wine and dinner, focusing on what to pair with and work with. That’s important since European wine was created to pair with food. From that initial question, I will want to understand what you are looking for. Is it a certain price point? Or, do you want something that goes with lounging at the pool or when entertaining at dinner? Each person’s answer will ultimately provide them with a different suggestion, based on their individual needs and desires.”
One of the first things James will ask you is, “How do you like your coffee?” If your answer is sweet with creamers and sugar, this provides him with an understanding of your palate preference. Therefore he can direct you to a sampling of offerings that will suit you perfectly. Someone who prefers strong black coffee has a different taste palate than say, a person who has a palate for a pumpkin spiced latte with whipped cream. Again, this personalized attention is what sets King James Wine apart. (By the way, both are right answers to the coffee question.)
The concept for opening King James Wine was to introduce Northwest Arkansas to more interesting and diverse wine from around the world. He is able to work with sellers and distributors that go beyond the big name brands.
His philosophy is to group the main grapes together and not by region, as many wine stores will do. That means we have to treasure-hunt a bit, which expands our knowledge. For instance, if you are looking for something universal as Chardonnay, most wine shops will group these by places such as South Africa and the Central Coast. At King James Wine, grouping by grape varietals will open up other regions such Corsica, Northern Spain, Burgundy, Israel and Chablis. Beer and spirit offerings also have an emphasis on lesser-known brands.
A teacher by heart and by trade, King James Wine is a wine school. While in-store classes may currently be on hold due to COVID-19, that doesn’t stop James from doing what he does best: teach. There are several ways to get an incredible education:
3511 SE J Street Suite 1
Bentonville, AR 72712-5489
You can order quality Spirits, Wines, and Beers online and pick up in-store.
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