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Business Spotlight

Like Learning Greek, Only Tastier

Riki-Lynn Boettcher’s store Urban Liquor Store in Guisachan Village features a massive wall of wine that hail from the North Okanagan to the South Okanagan, as well as from premium boutique wineries throughout the valley, many of which are exclusive to Urban Liquor.
November 06, 2017 - 12:00 AM

Learning the lingo around wine tasting and pairings doesn’t have to be like learning Greek. Once you get past all the jargon, a clearer understanding will emerge while your enjoyment of sipping the nectar of the Goddesses is heightened.

     There is a lot of information to absorb as you make your way through the endless number of reds and whites; the tannins, the aromas and the diverse characteristics of it all, but that’s where practice comes in with the goal being to develop a wine vocabulary that will guide you.  At Urban Liquor Store in Guisachan Village Mall in Kelowna, their Tutored Tastings give you the opportunity to sharpen your palette and wine knowledge.

     “We explain to people what they taste and we’ll introduce them to things they may not have tasted otherwise,” said Riki-Lynn Boettcher, co-owner and general manager.

     As much as learning about wine can seem overwhelming, the beer, wine and fine spirits store staff have fun offering the monthly tastings while enlightening customers on their wine education.

   Paul Clark, with 30 years’ experience in the wine industry, has been hosting the tastings at Urban Liquor Store for the past two years. He is a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and was an instructor at Okanagan College. Clark was instrumental in developing the educational wine program for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society.

     “People keep coming back. It’s a relaxing atmosphere where we can taste eight wines for a $10 donation that all goes to Autism Okanagan,” explained Boettcher, who purchased the store with her husband and their partners Dustin Noble and Rachelle Lien three years ago.

     Because of the popularity of the tasting evenings, Boettcher said there is limited space which fills quickly, so coming by a little earlier is recommended. Tasting evenings run from 7- 8 p.m. and cover a broad spectrum of wine regions and the wines they produce. All a taster needs to have is an open mind and an interest in wine.

     For those who have a curiosity or interest in something other than wine, Miranda Maxson, who has been with the store for a year and a half, has a tremendous knowledge of craft beer.      “Miranda has taken our craft beer culture to the next level.  She loves to be in the know about the latest breweries before they even hit the market and she does an incredible job of engaging with our customers on their interests,” said Boettcher, who added that there are a number of other staff members also well versed in their specific interests.

     Boettcher, with over 15 years of experience in the wine and beverage alcohol industry in all facets, is an entrepreneur and a sommelier. She is proud and excited to see her vision of a premium liquor outlet in Kelowna come to fruition.  She says she wanted to create an environment at Urban Liquor Store where customers could shop amongst the large selection of quality wine, spirits and beer, while receiving exceptional service and product knowledge about what they’re buying. Because of this, customers are loyal and are discovering new products and tastes each time they visit.

    The next Tutored Tasting events are November 8 and December 13 at 7 p.m. Come by and visit the store to learn more, and visit www.urbanliquor.ca to find out more about their products and events.

Sponsored By   Urban Liquor

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