RENATE WALLEM, owner of Vintner's Cellar,
If you like wine, but you get your cabernet-sauvignons mixed up with your cabernet-merlots, Renate Wallem
should be the person you make your new best friend.Wallem is the owner of the three-month-old Vintner's Cellar franchise on South River Road in Bedford, next store to the Land Rover dealership.
teaches others to make their own wines and she
own as well, selling them from an area at the front of the spacious storefront that hosts parties and special events.
Because the wine ferments in five to six weeks, Wallem
should soon start getting busy with holiday customers planning ahead.She
will tend to the wine as it ferments over those weeks, stir it vigorously, filter it, even talk to it in her
Austrian accent. Wallem
said every batch makes between 24 to 28 bottles, and that averages out to less than $11 per bottle.
Red or white?As far as she's
concerned, "There are two types of wine, the ones you like and the ones you don't like."
Wallem notes that there's no one out back of her
store stomping grapes in a giant vat.All the wines are made from syrups supplied by the store.All of the wine sold in the winery is made in the store.You won't find the usual commercial labels found in most grocery stores around the state.They come in several "blends" â€" gold, silver and bronze â€" which indicates whether they have been made with all pure juice, a mixture of juice and concentrate, or all concentrate.Wallem, who once worked as a vice president of risk management for a large Boston bank, knows her wine.
not adverse to taking chances â€" she's
now preparing a chocolate port made with Godiva chocolate liqueur.Other wines on her
store list include a black currant merlot, raspberry zinfandel and white ice wine â€" served very cold and with a hint of peach and apricot.
We asked for some pairing suggestions, and here are her