Meet the Owners: Redneck Wine
Three wine lovers chose South Tampa for their business home thanks to its taste and elegance.
No one that you'll meet at Redneck Wine in South Tampa is actually a redneck.
Tim Alberdi and husband and wife duo Joe Zamrin and Janice Keller were brought together by their love of wine to create Wine and More LLC. After entering a partnership with a fourth individual who brought financial burdens from their own business onto the trio of wine connoisseurs and their business, the Wine Warehouse of Tampa Bay and second location in St. Petersburg, the three split off to form their own project.
"This business has been great because we have more control. I've always loved working in the wine business," Janice Keller, 65, said. "When I retired from GTE Federal Credit Union, someone gave me a card with a cartoon that said, "will work for wine" and I thought, that's what I'm going to do."
3225 South MacDill Avenue #117
What's In a Name?: "Tim found the location and said 'there's just one more thing, I want to name it Redneck Wine Company," Keller said. "I thought, 'really? Redneck Wine Company?' He thought was a catchy name and I think it's one you remember. He used to say he wanted to name it that because he's an old redneck from Tallahassee, but he isn't old or a redneck. But it has brought a lot of people in out of curiousity. "
Love of Wine: "I like wine with lunch, dinner, dessert. It's great by itself. Some of the more complex wines are best that way. For that last 26 years since being with Janice, I've learned a lot about wine because we've stayed open minded and learned a lot about wine by tasting it. People always want to learn more about wine when they get into it, but I think the big thing is just staying open minded and trying different wines. That's how you learn," Joe Zamrin said.
Not a Very Redneck Selection: As lifetime wine drinkers and veterans of the wine retail world, the three owners have well developed, diverse pallates and connections in the wine world to keep their selection as diverse as it is high end. Adding another element, the trio have finished their in store wine cellar and brought in new hire David Werlin, the former cellar manager of Bern's Steakhouse.
Back in the Real World: For Zamrin, 50, the wine store is as close as he gets to a vacation, working for Price Waterhouse throughout the rest of the week. "My other job still pays the bills and that isn't going to change any time soon, but this store is doing really good. Maybe it'll be my retirement. This is like my vacation, getting to spend time here," Zamrin said.
Price: Prices can range from $4 for a bottle to cellar stored specialty bottles that retail for hundreds of dollars. When it comes to the cost, Redneck Wine does everything in their power to compete with bigger retail wine sellers like Total Wine. "We're a small wine shop but we act like a big one. We don't have a high profit margin but we specialize in knowing our customers and getting to know their tastes. We have customers come from all the way from St. Pete," Keller said.
South Tampa Brings Success: "I think our clientele in St. Petersburg was a little more worried about the economy because the clientele was much older," Keller said. "That older generation also grew up drinking martinis, not wine. I think the younger generation that you see a lot more of over here is drinking more wine and has a lot more time to make their money. It may not be a more affluent area than downtown St. Petersburg, but it certainly is a lot younger with more knowledgable wine drinkers."
Tastings: Redneck Wine does free tastings every week. They are usually free, but once in a while, the store will have a paid tasting where those with a desire for the finer wines can taste up to 8 different high end bottles for a price of $25."It's a good way to find out if you want to invest in a high end bottle or two," Keller said.
Rare Bottles: Most of what you'll find at Redneck Wine is bottles that can be located elsewhere although not at a similar price. Once in a while, however, you'll stumble on one of the trio's treasures. "One thing we have that you won't find anywhere except restaurants in Tampa is Rabbit Ridge. We're the only retail wine shop that has their wines and it's because we're friends with them," Keller said.