MONUMENT — On Saturday afternoons, savvy wine connoisseurs can be found tasting an eclectic variety of varietals at The Wine Seller. In March 2000, proprietor Dirk Stamp bought the boutique, which specializes in wines from around the world, as well as some specialty spirits and beer.
“We go out of our way to choose unique wines that people may not have heard of or tried,” Stamp said.
For instance, January’s classic selections for the store’s Wine Club include a 2012 “Axia,” made from Malagouzia grapes, by Alpha Estate in Florina, Greece, and a 2008 Egri “Bull’s Blood” (a blend of Kekfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir) made by Kovacs Nimrod Winery in Eger, Hungary.
Incidentally, Stamp visited Kovacs’ winery in March. In December, Kovacs returned the favor by visiting Stamp’s shop on Colorado Highway 105.
Wine Club members receive two bottles each month — white and red or only red — with tasting notes and recipes for pairing. About 130 people belong to the Wine Club.
For those who don’t want commitment, there are other options, including a pre-selected $99 case of 12 bottles, which changes each month.
Although some wines may sell for more than $200, many remain in the $20-$40 range, while Stamp’s specialty is “best-tasting wines under $20,” and the store offers a sizeable selection of wines in the $6-$12 range.
“We’re all about value — we make no bones about it,” Stamp said. “I affectionately call them the ‘cheap and cheery wines,’ and we put them right up front.”
He also travels across several continents to bring back wines from the corners of the Earth.
“They’re not just pretty labels,” he said, gesturing at some artistic designs. “We know what’s in the bottle — we taste everything.”
Since he bought the store, revenue has grown 10-15 percent each year, from $250,000 annually to more than $750,000.
Marketing for the Wine Seller consists of word-of-mouth, recommendations from customers, community and charity fundraising events, and wine-pairing dinners with such restaurants as Monument Country Club, Blue Star, Bella Panini in Palmer Lake, moZaic/The Inn at Palmer Divide and The Margarita at Pine Creek.
On Jan. 25, the boutique participated in the Glass Slipper Ball for charity. Stamp coordinated all the wine vendors for that and for years has similarly supported the Cheyenne Village Vineyard in the Village wine-tasting and the Tri-Lakes Women’s Club 2013 Wine and Roses gala.
“If you’re going to be a destination store, you have to be willing to reach out to the community,” he said.