We recently returned from a trip to Hawaii, visiting Oahu and Kauai. Leave it to us to find a local wine shop in the small town of Koloa, on the south shore of Kauai. The Wine Shop is a great little gem not far from the Sheraton Kauai, where we spent an amazing week. For being on a small island, they had quite the variety. We enjoyed exploring the shop and learning about a few local wines and guessing the island price on high-end wines.
Until a few years ago, we had a tradition of hosting a New Year's Eve Party with our friends, with the theme, "Coast to Coast Champagne Toast". It was a fun event in which we served sparkling wine from each US time zone, starting at 9pm with east coast and finalizing at 2am with Hawaii. Yes, we somehow found a pineapple based sparkling wine to serve ~Hula O Maui from Tedeschi Vineyards.
The wine shop carried a few of their other wines, so we decided to give the red blend a try. The Ulupalakua Red can best be described as a good 'third bottle'. Unfortunately, it was not our 3rd bottle. It seems their pineapple sparkling wine is a far better selection, especially at 2am on NYE!
While there, the owners shared with us they were having a free wine tasting event on Saturday night. They were showcasing four 'big wines' and the deli next door was providing an assortment of snacks. We worked it in our 'busy' schedule and attended the event on Saturday night. The place was hopping with locals and visitors. Although we wouldn't define them as big, but enjoyable all the same, we tasted all four wines being served: Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay, Mobius Cabernet from Sonoma County, Four Vines, and Peltier Station Zinfandel from Lodi. All were good, solid wines with a price point of $25 or less. While tasting, we munched on meats and cheese provided by the local deli and chatted with the wine distributor.
In addition to learning about the wines, we also learned a little about local liquor laws. Turns out, at many of the restaurants you can bring your own bottle, with a corkage fee. A good tip for next time! We also learned Kauai is one of the few places where you can actually take an open bottle out with you. Think that is one law we may not have to take advantage of too frequently!
The Wine Shop has been in business for 4 years, and we look forward to visiting them again on our next trip to Kauai ~ Mahalo!