By Deborah Bostock-Kelley
Trying to decide what determines a good wine brand can be overwhelming in a big box shopping store or liquor chain. When Certified Sommelier Victor Manuel and mother/business partner, Rosa Quintela opened La Vid Fine Wines & Vinoteca in November 2020, they wanted to create an intimate shop and make the process a personal one.
La Vid offers only the best-in-class Spanish and Portuguese wines, beers, and vermouths, as well as other global wines of distinction and specialty food products from the Mediterranean.
“We specialize in Iberian wines (Spain and Portugal) and vermouths. We do sell other European and new world wines. We also carry food products like tuna, Sardines, anchovies, high-end vinegar, chestnuts, almonds, oils from Spain and Portugal,” said Victor. “We were excited to share our wine culture with Carrollwood and offer something different because people were- pun intended- thirsty for a local non-franchise concept.”
The dark garnet walls are adorned with Spanish portraits of bullfighters and dancers. A guitar sits alone, waiting for someone to strum next to the long bar covered in Portuguese cork. With walls dressed in rows and rows of wine, food and wine displays decorated with Spanish pottery, set up conveniently throughout the shop, the specialized retail and wine bar in Carrollwood feels welcoming, warm, and inviting.
Victor said the personal attention he gives to every customer and the carefully curated selection makes La Vid stand out from other wine concepts.
“We are a smaller operation, so it permits us to have that one-on-one with the customers. We also are willing to order anything that they want,” he said. “We are glad to cater to their needs. Customers can shop with confidence. I bring in products that are classic examples of what textbook Iberian wines are all about.”
Having worked regularly with wine in the hospitality industry, his interest was furthered when he was given a book about wine.
“I wanted to try all the wines featured in the book,” he explained. “I wanted to know more.”
Once he experienced the different wines, a seed was planted and began to cultivate.
Victor went through rigorous training and exams to become a Certified Sommelier. An idea for opening his own shop formed.
“I had my own perspective and, with my experience, the tools to establish a successful business, learning from great people who’ve been in the business for years,” he said. “I don’t have this knowledge to want to keep to myself. I want to share with people. I want this to hub for people to learn about wine. I want to reach anybody who’s willing to taste something new and exciting.”
With ancestors from Spain, he said the idea to specialize in Iberian wines came easily.
“Maybe it’s preprogrammed in my DNA because of my Hispanic heritage. It’s two parts – a personal side and a cultural one. Both great grandparents came from Spain, and the crest that we use here is actually an adaption of our family’s coat of arms. On the cultural side, Spain is a country that produces wines that can rival any kind of style of wine that exists in the world, and Portugal has such a vast variety has wines that there is no typical style. It’s a very exciting time in wine across the board, but especially in the Iberian peninsula. The quality of wines we are getting is punching way above its weight.”
Victor explained that the wines aren’t made in huge, mass qualities.
“It’s more of a finite product. A lot are unfiltered and unrefined. Though not always listed on the label, many are organic or biodynamically grown. I try to source the most talented producers to offer the best products that I can, which allows us to have a wonderful selection for the same prices you’d pay at a grocery store or chain liquor store. You’re getting a much better product, and you’re also buying and supporting local,” he said.
Not only can customers purchase wine from the retail shop, but they can also order from a menu of different varieties of Spain wines, beers, and ciders at the wine bar. Here, conveniently, customers can also enjoy the wine and food products they purchased in the retail shop.
During the pandemic, La Vid follows CDC guidelines of sanitization, masks inside the shop, and social distancing to protect customers and staff.
“Putting a business sense plus passion and knowledge behind our shop is our secret recipe. We’re passion-driven. We want you to experience the essence of Iberia here.”
La Vid Fine Wines & Vinoteca is located at 14610 North Dale Mabry Highway. The business is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, 11 am to 11 pm. The shop features a hospitality night on Sunday. Visit lavidwines.co or follow on facebook.com/LaVidWines to learn about upcoming classes and tastings. Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments for consultations are available.