SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marilyn Pauley spent 27 years as the Alcohol Beverage Control's wine administrator, but she said, "It has always been my dream to own a wine shop." Two months ago she made that dream a reality.
In partnership with her mother, Betty Szczutkowski, Pauley opened South Charleston Wine Shoppe. Located at 342 MacCorkle Ave., the shop is a block east of the South Charleston Mound and offers wines from all over the world, including wines from West Virginia, France and South Africa.
Wine samplings are offered every Friday and Saturday to introduce customers to new varietals.
"We want to expand our customers' horizons," Pauley said. "That way they don't have to pay $20 for a bottle of wine they may, or may not, like."
The store is designed to be comfortable and accessible to customers. Pauley wants her clients to feel at ease purchasing wine and asking questions. On many of the shelves hang tasting notes, describing the wine's flavor and helping customers get a better idea of what they might like in a new wine.
Pauley said her method of wine selection is simple. "I went through and chose wines I like. I also took recommendations from distributors about wines that were good sellers.
More importantly, she said, "I let the customers decide what the inventory is. They tell me what they like, or what their favorite wine is, and I find it and add it to the inventory."
That inventory is constantly changing as Pauley strives to give her customers a unique experience.