Charlotte Street's retail offerings took a hit last year after Blue Water Seafood and The Wine Studio closed within a few weeks of each other. But now, a wine shop will return to complement The Chop Shop Butchery and City Bakery just down the road.
Metro Wines will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, April 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the former location of The Wine Studio.
The new owners, husband-and-wife team John Kerr and Gina Trippi, are embarking on their second venture in wine — they once owned an online wine store — and their second careers. They recently relocated from Washington, D.C., where Kerr worked for the federal government and Trippi practiced law.
With Metro Wines, they're hoping to experience a lighter side of the working world. “Wine has been taken a little too seriously; it should be fun,” Kerr says. “We want this to be like a clubhouse where people can come in if they want to have a glass of wine or have a meeting in here.”
The shop will host Wednesday evening tastings and serve wines by the glass. A large, communal table is available for group meetings and events. The walls will display local artwork, and wine classes and demonstrations will take place periodically.
When they select wines, Trippi and Kerr think about what their customers will eat for dinner. “We like to say we can pair with anything, from steak to curry to a bad hair day,” she says. “This should be a customer-friendly place. We're all about pairing.”
There will also be a section for what Trippi calls “little black dress wines,” those that pair well with everything, and “bucket list wines,” the high-dollar variety (the inventory begins at $8 a bottle).
Trippi also works with Greyhound Rescue and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. At the shop, her two foster greyhounds will keep her company. She calls them the shop dogs, and the leggy pair seems to enjoy the job, shyly greeting visitors and lounging near the register.
In keeping with her interest in animal welfare, Trippi has partnered with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. She's curating a special display of animal-themed wines, and she sells Brother Wolf-emblazoned glassware, proceeds from which go back to the shelter. Metro will also donate 10 percent of opening-day profits to the shelter.
In addition to wine, Metro Wines will sell beer and provisions. Expect regular events and benefits at the 169 Charlotte St. location. For more information, visit metrowinesasheville.com or search for Metro Wines Asheville on Facebook.