For the past 26 years, Saranne Riccio has been in the wine business: a distributor, a sommelier, and teaching wine classes to the uninitiated.
She had visions of owning her very own place someday. And, four months ago, those dreams were realized when Uncorked: Wine Shop & Tasting Room opened for business.
Located in the heart of Providence Main, Uncorked is attractively appointed with a small bar that seats six, a cozy couch and comfy chairs. The walls are adorned with the works of local artists. Recently, the works of Joe Hendrickson were featured, accompanied by an artist’s reception.
Riccio’s secret to her success lies in her simple philosophy.
“Wine doesn’t have to be intimidating. With a price range from $6.99-$200/bottle, there’s a price point for everyone,” she said. “There are several wines for $20 and under that are great bang for the buck.”
For wines by the glass, Riccio offers what she refers to as a “Built in Personal Flight,” a selection of 16 featured wines, either as a two-pour, or as a six-pour flight.
Riccio and her staff are highly responsive to their customers.
“There’s no point in directing someone with a $20 price point into the $200 bottle selections; if someone wants buy a higher end wine, don’t take them to the lower priced varieties,” she said. “Once their spending range is established, we can then find out what their preferences are, what do they like?
“Once we know this, we can help the customer navigate through the wines.”
Along with a variety of wines to suit any budget, there are tasty tidbits, such as Mama’s cheese straws, Arabella’s dilled onions, candied jalapenos, and pepper jelly, Belle Chevre goat cheeses, and Pizzelle’s chocolates. Adding these delightful goodies to a great bottle of wine would make a tasty gift basket.
The holidays, and the associated parties will be here before you know it. Uncorked can help customers with parties for up to 50 people. A $300 facility rental fee allows guests to savor the Uncorked after-hours ambience from 7:30-9:30pm. For an additional fee, there’s a wide assortment of wines and charcuterie that can be tailored to any taste or budget.
What are Riccio’s plans for future growth?
“To make people more aware of our presence, to be that ‘go-to’ place for people to learn about wines,” she said. “… helping to educate people about wines to the extent that they want to learn, and doubling the varieties of our ‘by the glass’ wine selections.”