Joyce Colmar’s World of Wine – Editor’s Note: We spoke with Joyce Colmar, the owner of Vino Loco Wine Bar, Tapas Restaurant & Retail Shop to learn more about her affinity for wine. Visit VinoLocoWine.com or call 941-473-8466.
What’s the history of Vino Loco?
Vino Loco was the inspiration of a second career after retiring from my law practice in Atlanta. I’ve always loved food, wine and travel so a wine bar and retail shop were a natural progression. The food came later and has become a major focal point thanks to the culinary talent of Chefs Katrina and Monique.
Where are you originally from and what brought you to Englewood?
I grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, finished college at SUNY Oswego, then headed to Florida State University for graduate school and on to Atlanta for Law School. My former in laws lived in Englewood and lured me here, and I’m so glad they did.
How many bottles of wine are available in your Bottle Shop and how do you make selections?
We have about 350 different wines, with new wines being added every week. Wines, including our private labels, are selected based upon quality and value. We search for small production vineyards using varietals that are out of the mainstream.
What was the process of becoming a wine connoisseur?
Wine education begins the moment you take your first sip! I received my Advanced Certification from the Wine, Spirit and Education Trust in London in 2006. Our entire staff regularly attend wine seminars and tastings.
Where did you go on your summer trip to Europe?
Roz and I traveled to southern France and Spain for a month of vineyard visits and food exploration. Our visit included the southern Rhone Valley, Lirac, Luberon, Provence, Roussillon, Languedoc, and Catalunya.
What are some of your favorite wines?
We love wines from Spain, Italy, France, Greece, South America, and Portugal. One of my favorite Spanish wines has been organic for 225 years. Rose wine is my favorite, especially those from Provence. It strikes a perfect balance between whites and reds, and it pairs well with just about everything.
Are French wines the best in the world?
While the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions are considered the home of the finest wines in the world, southern France is snapping at their heels, producing affordable and delicious food-friendly whites, roses and smooth, silky reds. The Spanish Cavas we tasted from Catalyuna were every bit as bubbly and wonderful as those from Champagne, but at half the price. We look forward to hosting various winemakers at Vino Loco again this year.