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Customer(s) of the Week

Meet The Shubies! Mike and Sandra are an adorable husband and wife team with hectic jobs, a blended family with TEENAGERS but still find time to make great music together! They, sometimes along with daughter Ada, are one of MAW's most popular musical groups partly because of their talent but also because they are fun, funny, lovable and loving! Who doesn't love a set with "Love Shack", "Who Says You Can't Go Home", and the classic "F*** You!" One might even call them "Shubalicious!" These are two special people who help make MAW a happening place!

Name: The Shubies

What is you occupation? Singing at Market Alley when we can get away from our day jobs.

What is your favorite beverage of choice? Market Alley recommendations.

What is your hobby? Michael - guitar. Sandra - knitting.

Do you have a secret talent? Surviving teenage daughters.

What is your guilty pleasure song? Michael - spa music! Sandra - anything Dave Matthews.

What's your favorite place on earth? Anywhere we are together... but also Sedona.

What do you like about living in this area? It's a great place to raise our kids.

What is your favorite thing about Market Alley Wines? SUSAN and PAUL! Seriously. You’ve made this feel like a second home. (Ed. note: This was unsolicited!)

MAW Customer of the Week!

This week, meet Mike! Mike and his wife Tia are just two of the hundreds of special people who help make MAW a third place! Mike is a self-taught musician who regularly plays open mics at MAW and a few weekend gigs! He is currently growing out his hair so we have affectionately nicknamed him, "Hutch." They just got a new puppy! 

Name: Mike

What is you occupation? Farmer

What is your favorite beverage of choice? Most dry red wines.

What is your hobby? Fishing.

Do you have a secret talent? Juggling.

What is your guilty pleasure song? "Waiting on a Friend" by The Rolling Stones.

What's your favorite place on earth? My farm.

What do you like about living in this area? Beautiful sunsets.

What is your favorite thing about Market Alley Wines? Being with friends and having a great glass of wine!

New Blog Feature! MAW Customer of the Week!

We are delighted to kick off our newest blog feature: MAW Customer of the Week! We have so many wonderful friends and patrons and would love for you to get the opportunity to meet them. This week, meet Crystal, a fun-loving, recently retired, MAW super-groupie! Crystal can always be counted on for great conversation and laughs!

Name: Crystal 

1. What is your occupation? RETIRED! (All caps hers!)

2. What is your favorite beverage of choice? Wine, of course. Preferably Cabernets and Chardonnays.

3. What is your hobby? Chicken keeper and making cards.

4. Do have a secret talent? Doing humorous speeches.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure song? "Santa Baby" by Madonna.

6. What is your favorite place on Earth? Sonoma, CA.

7. What do you about living north of Monmouth? I love the privacy of country living!

8. Tell us what you love about Market Alley Wines! Susan - and the people I have met. And the friendly atmosphere!


Have You Seen the New Tables?

We are super excited to break in these gorgeous reclaimed, rescued and handmade wood tables by Kevin and Donna Lovdahl from Kadlov Creations! Bonus is extra seating and use of some dead space near the wall. One table is made from reclaimed pine, another with a herringbone pattern is a rescued mix of cherry, oak, cyprus and catalpa and the one in the middle is rescued locust and walnut. Beautiful, functional and made locally!

To Quote Bowie: Five Years!

Wow! Five years ago today, I first hung the “open” sign on the door at Market Alley Wines and invited folks in for a glass. Five years. In the business world, that’s some sort of magical milestone that says your business is viable (Forbes says 8 out of 10 fail in the first 5 years).

For me, it’s a sign that I think I’ve got a pretty stable job right now and also that Monmouth can and does support a little neighborhood wine shop.

When I first hung that open sign, I couldn’t have done it without my husband Paul, mu Mom Diane and my Step-Dad Jerry. The four of us put in the months of sweat equity to turn a long-empty storefront into my vision for a Monmouth wine shop.

But nothing has been so important - so vital to these first five years - than Market Alley Wines’ loyal customers. That first day, we had a special event, and we had eight or nine customers come in to try the wine and laugh and share stories in a place that was soon to become a regular hangout.

Now, we have many dozens of regulars - we have seen lasting friendships born, bands form, strangers getting to know each other over a boardgame or a glass of cabernet, many, many fundraisers, bridal showers, retirement parties, weddings (including Paul’s and mine!) and countless awesome bands and solo musical artists remind us how wonderful life is with live music in the air, happy conversation and a glass of tasty wine.

I’ve also been blessed to work with so many wonderful family members, friends, interns and staff that have helped my business grow. We’ve seen young students take flight into adult lives as they became a part of our lives.

And yes, we have been a “third place” - a local “watering hole” that has always been a home away from home for our regulars. A place where everyone is equal and welcome (and welcoming) - where conversation and laughter reign supreme.

So looking back, what do I take away, personally, from this milestone? For one, that this community comes out and supports a business that it wants in this community, and that’s so humbling to me. And second - wow, what a fun, joyful community we have!

At the heart of everything, Market Alley Wines is about the enjoyment and ritual of good wine (and craft beers) - how wine can enhance those rituals we hold so dear: time with friends, sharing a meal, sitting on the back porch and relaxing - getting more out of life.

So thank you friends (and loyal customers) for helping me get so much out of this job and this business - it’s been a pleasure beyond words and a joy to come in to work every morning. And I think we’re just getting started! Cheers friends!

YOU Make MAW a Third Place

Many of you have heard me talk about "the third place" on numerous occasions. I talk about it at work, I've linked to several articles about it on Facebook and I reference it in my speaking engagements. (heh. "Speaking engagements" sounds so fancy!) 


This weekend at the shop, one of our regulars (i.e. Superfans) was talking to her daughter who was visiting from the east coast about what makes MAW so special.  She was explaining the concept of the third place but struggled with what specifically makes MAW that kind of destination.

I offered up that is was people like her, and so many of our regulars, that are actually an extension of me and my staff.  They help to make everyone feel not only welcome but part of a disparate but lovely, smart and caring ad hoc family. Everyone is an equal and supported.

Then, this Superfan, this 60-something, MAW groupie, said what may have been the funniest and most pointed thing I've heard recently.

Superfan: "I think I know what it is! It's like you are our mom! But in a good way!"

Well, I don't know about that, but I do know I probably won't be grounding anyone anytime soon!

What We’re Drinking This Week (February 23)

Damn, it is ugly outside. Just dead and brown and messy. But those few days of nice weather last week really got me thinking spring (at least in terms of how I need to work on cleaning up outside and what I am drinking!) No wine says spring more than a Picpoul de Pinet.

Picpoul (from the Picpoul Blanc grape) is the quintessential fair weather friend. Light and zippy with just enough acidity and citrus to give it some oomph, this is what I’ll be drinking this week.

Paul is all over the place with wines this week. Maybe because they all are so good!

The End of an Era

Many of you know my mom is the major decorator, fengshuier, and all-around creative partner in this wine venture. Although she is retired and full of energy and great ideas, she decided this past Christmas that it would be her last Christmas decorating our windows. 

While I am a bit sad to see it stop, I am certainly not sad enough to take that job on myself! So right now, we are in the process of cleaning and drilling bottles to make another wine wall in the west window. I think they look great and I am also delighted to not have to think about them once we get them completed.

Nine cases down … 16 more to go!

What We're Drinking This Week (February 9)

I, for one, am super thrilled about our new Satellite Sauvignon Blanc. The 2014 New Zealand SB's have mostly lacked concentration and intensity that are the touchstones of these great wines. Heavy rainfall at harvest time is one cause of the lackluster wines, but also over-cropping (having the vines carry more fruit than is desirable). I was delighted to find this gem a couple weeks ago that is vibrant, acidic and oh, so citrusy. It is my pick of the week!

Paul is also grooving on a new wine this week: Educated Guess Merlot. 81% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon are blended to give this hearty Merlot an extra dose of tannins and structure. It is also barrel aged giving it some extra weight and flavor. Seriously gooD

What We're Drinking This Week (January 12)

I used to be very much into themes when choosing our Wines of the Week. Lately, I put a little more thought into having really great and interesting wines to suit a wide variety of tastes.

Two French whites, the Compte LeLoup Muscadet and Le Mont Sancerre, are so divine. Don't be scared of the Muscadet! It is not Moscato but a bright, rich, dry wine that actually benefits from aging. And the Sancerre? You had me San. I'll be happily sipping on these two all week!

Paul is really digging the Piping Shrike Shiraz this week. Really meaty and spicy. (Two fun facts: Shiraz is also called Syrah and was the 7th most planted grape in 2004.) It is also a screw top ... which can most certainly come in handy!