Sips of victory

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Change happened for Tatjana Brown in November.

She opened Meza as a cooking and kitchen accessories store last April, filled with gourmet olive oil, pasta sauces and hand towels. But even with the mock-kitchen display area and gridwork of shelves, there wasn't nearly enough merchandise to fill the store's long, deep space.

That's because Brown was saving space for wine. But before that could happen in once-dry Westerville, Meza had to establish itself and put their permit on the ballot. After getting a "yes" in November, a hope was realized. Meza became the first wine shop in Uptown Westerville.

Now, the space is decked out with cute signs designating the shop's three sections wine, pantry and kitchen with the tempting, gourmet ingredients stacked up and spread out on tables and shelves across the floor from the wine. Local and organic foods and wines are two planned emphases.

"We're really trying to support the Ohio crowd, so right now we carry Rossi Pasta, Rothchild Farms, Vina de Milo," Brown said.

Floor-to-ceiling curtains separate the shopping area from a back room that's used for tastings and available for special events like group wine tastings or bridal showers.

Brown unveiled her selection and reworked layout at a grand opening last month. Here, she shares some of her favorites, along with the foods they'd pair well with that she also keep in stock.

Some of Brown's wine recommendations:

Concha y Toro cabernet sauvignon (2006)

  • Region: Puente Alto, Chile
  • Cost: $23
  • Flavors: full-bodied and spicy, with a long finish
  • Pairs well with: a wild mushroom pasta
  • Brown's advice: "The firm pasta we have is very earthy, and this has a lot of earth tones to it as well."

Two Hands Angels Share shiraz (2007)

  • Region: Australia
  • Cost: $37
  • Flavors: rich with berries, chocolate and Asian spices
  • Pairs well with: a Portobello-mushroom-and-shiraz sauce by Vino de Milo over pasta
  • Brown's advice: "It's a very, very rich shiraz. And Vino de Milo products are made from locally grown products in the Athens area, so it's really cool."

Caravan cabernet sauvignon (2005)

  • Region: Napa Valley
  • Cost: $35
  • Flavors: full-bodied, with plum, chocolate and coffee flavors
  • Pairs well with: with a balance of fruit and acidity, it would be the perfect wine to accompany a steak
  • Brown's advice: "It's extremely earthy, and it's just a really, really good, firm, full-bodied cabernet."