If you want to expand your wine knowledge in a relaxed, friendly, and unstuffy setting, head to the Wine Proxy at Tequesta’s Gallery Square North. The husband-and-wife team of Brian Chamis and Tish Sawyer are eminently qualified to take you on a journey of discovery: He has overseen the wine program at Café Chardonnay since the ’90s, while she is a veteran of several decades in the wholesale wine trade.
“I like to find out why people drink what they drink,” says Sawyer. “I realized that people’s concepts were changing about wine, and a lot of them belonged to wine clubs. I felt it would be empowering for consumers to be able to taste a wide range of wine.”
Monthly memberships at Wine Proxy begin at $35 and include a tasting of five wines, two bottles to take home, plus a discount on further purchases. They range up to $175 for a platinum membership (includes two $75-$100 bottles) and $725 for multi-platinum, which features several options for lovers of sparkling wine and Champagne. Preference for tastings is given to members, but the public is also welcome. The atmosphere of the shop is comfortable and homey, featuring a full kitchen. For collectors, Chamis also offers wine cellar maintenance and inventory management.
“We’re always finding new things and connecting people to them,” says Sawyer. “We represent small, family-owned wineries that we’ve had relationships with for years. Eventually, we’d love to add a travel component and host people in regions such as California, Oregon, France, and Tuscany.”