Shop Talk at House Wine

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Donnie Austin, 31

Owner, House Wine

644 High St., Worthington


Would you tell people about your store?

House Wine is a mix of a wine shop and a wine bar. So customers can come in and buy wine to take home, or stay and enjoy the wine here.... I like to think of us as a wine experience.

I like your shop because it's kind of like Wine for Dummies, in that it makes wine easy to understand. Was that a goal?


Your concept was born after getting into wine yourself and finding it a bit difficult to buy at first, right?

It was pretentious and hard to find wine for our budget. Novices can come in here and feel comfortable in our environment.

The enomatics is one way you make wine tasting (and buying) easy. Can you explain what it is?

The enomatics is a self-serve wine disposing system that will allow customers to taste 24 wines by the ounce. So they can taste before they buy.

Or they can just have themselves a good time testing all 24...?

It is just under one bottle! But it's not recommended. (laughing) Most of them are $1 to $3 an ounce.

You also offer food pairing racks where people can find several bottles to drink with, say, poultry. What categories do you have?

We have poultry, seafood, Italian, take-out, beef and pork.

How much do your wines cost?

Most of our wines are $6 to $20, but we cover the whole gamut.

What's your most expensive bottle?

Right now... Magnum Papillon for $150.

What do you sell the most?

With the recession, a lot of people were hitting our $10 wines quite a bit.... Now it's slowly going back up. More and more people are starting to spend $15, $20, $25 a bottle now.

Would you talk about some of the events you host

We do a tasting every Thursday night where we're actually pairing the wine. It's a different theme each week. That draws a big crowd. It's 6 to 9 p.m. (Cost is $15.) And then, every Saturday for the farmer's market, we're open 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and we actually partner with one of the farmers and we make a drink with the fresh fruit.

If people want to drink here, can they bring food?

We have a partnership with our neighbor, Caffe Daniela, where people can get carryout and eat it here. And we offer meats, cheeses and flatbreads.

You say that when you're out, people are shocked to see you drinking beer, yes?

It's funny, yeah. I like my beer, too. Interested in the drink!

Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.