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Westport's Greenest Wine Shop Offers User-Friendly Buying Experience

Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, Westport’s newest liquor store, employs many green tactics within its small, team-run business.

 

Although there is a wide variety of beer and liquor at the store, the main focus of the new business is wine – something the owner believes is very popular among Westporters.

“There is a high correlation between wine drinkers and highly educated, world travelers,” said ’s owner Tom Geniesse. “The classic profile of someone who loves and is interested is wine is someone who is relatively affluent, relatively educated and relatively world traveled.”

Geniesse believes these attributes define the Westport community.

The Westport location is Bottlerocket’s second store. Bottlerocket's other store is located in New York City’s Flatiron District on 19th Street between 5th and 6th streets.

Geniesse said Bottlerocket would do well in any town because of its user-friendly buying experience that traditional wine shops do not offer.

Bottlerocket has several square islands within the store to guide customers to the most appropriate bottle of wine for them. For instance, they have islands to pair wine with meat, poultry and lamb, but the store also has islands for things like buying gifts and take-out. The four-sided gift island has a side for someone you barely know, old friends, a third date, and your boss.

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Both novices, who are a little bit uncertain, and experts both appreciate the way Bottlerocket is organized, as it is very easy to get lost in a typical wine shop, according to Geniesse.

The company has made a big effort to look closely at every material they use and every service they consume to try to make ‘green’ choices and be a responsible business.

Bottlerocket gets the majority of its energy from wind power with additional energy from solar, ocean thermal power, fuel cells, methane gas from landfills and more. Bottlerocket incorporates environmentally friendly ‘green’ materials into its design by using LED lighting and formaldehyde-free plywood, among other sustainable approaches.

"Unless you have your head in the sand, you know that issues of energy consumption, carbon emissions, chemicals in our environment, recycling, etc. are all critical decisions to make," Geniesse said.

He explained that his background in the industry is as a consumer and that Bottlerocket is his answer to the consumer challenge of finding their way through a wine store. 

“Bottlerocket is all about you and I being able to make good choices when buying wine,” he said. “I’ve walked into a lot of stores, curious, interested, and wanting to learn, and those stores did very little to help me navigate through that world,”

As for prices, Bottlerocket has something for everybody. Bottle prices span from under $10 to over $1,000.

“We are excited to be open in Westport to try to see if we can be a positive member of the community,” he said.

Bottlerocket, located in the plaza on Post Road East, officially opened for business June 30. 

Sue Donem July 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I LOVE this store! A couple things that the article didn't mention: 1) Every bottle has a brief but well thought out write up. Not just a few adjectives thrown togther, but a description of the vineyard, the philosephy of wine maker etc. Each desription also contains a map showing you exactly where the wine comes from, as well as mutliple rating scores including Bottlerocket's own internal score. and 2) When you check out they automatically print out those same desriptions on 8.5 x 11 paper (perhaps not quite in keeping with the "green" theme!) that you can refer back to when you drink it and take notes if you're so inclined. I enjoy trying different wines but I can never rememebr the names once the bottles hit the trash -- I simply take the print outs of the ones I want to re-stock with me when I return to the store. I wish them lots of luck -- they deserve it!

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