Cultivating Thirst with Champagne Fridays at the New Campus Fine Wines Rhode Palate November 17th, 2012

From a recent press release:

Campus Fine Wines is under new ownership for 1st time in nearly 40 years.

Providence, RI: The new owners of Campus Fine Wines will celebrate the store’s Grand Reopening throughout December, with Champagne tastings every Friday from 4PM-7PM. Regular Saturday tastings from 2PM-6PM will focus on wines & beers for the holiday table. Campus Fine Wines under new ownership for 1st time in nearly 40 years.

Two local wine industry veterans and their spouses recently purchased the shop, which has been a Fox Point neighborhood landmark for decades. Andrea Sloan & Howard Mahady have combined industry experience of over 30 years. Howard has worked in retail since the early 90’s, first as the French wine & Scotch buyer at The Wine Specialist in DC, followed by 9 years as Sales Manager at Wakefield Liquors, then another 4 years as a rep in wine wholesale. Andrea spent about a decade in the photo industry before stumbling into wine in 2003, right around the time her son was born. She worked first as a rep for a small importer in MA before moving to Providence and taking a job at Campus Fine Wines where she was a manager; after 3 years she also moved to the wholesale side of the business. Andrea & Howard met on the road, quickly realized they had a similar aesthetic & philosophy about wine, and that they both still had a passion for retail. When Campus came up for sale, they jumped at the opportunity. Lucky for them, their spouses were willing to quit their jobs and sink their savings into the venture!

Since taking over in July, the four have quietly revitalized this old neighborhood favorite with an updated selection of wine, beer and tchotchkes to match the bright new paint job and artwork. Their energy and enthusiasm for what they’re selling is contagious, and it’s clear that part of their mission is to remind us that wine, beer, and spirits should be fun. But they’re very serious about what they’re doing, especially when it comes to wine. Part of what sets the new Campus apart is their commitment to producers who make wine with respect for the land, the grape, and those who drink. These producers understand that the best wines (not to be confused with the most expensive) are reflections of time, place and method. This simple truth, which is rightfully celebrated in food, is often overlooked in wine. With this in mind, the December tastings will focus on Grower Champagnes, aka: Farmer Fizz. These Champagnes are made by the underdogs of the Champagne region; these are the people who work the land, grow the grapes, and harvest the fruit. The yields are tiny, case production is minimal, and the resulting wines are true labors of love and expressions of place.

On the topic of place, the new owners are grateful to be in such a vibrant, dynamic city that bustles with creativity and values cultivating knowledge and new ideas. Their tagline, Cultivating Thirst, was born from the idea that those qualities are part of what defines Providence and it’s why they support local organizations such as The Athenaeum and Rhode Island NPR. Being a good neighbor is part of their mission; another few decades as a dedicated and valuable partner in the community is their vision.

In addition to the weekly Friday tastings, Campus also hosts wine & beer tastings every Saturday from 2-5PM and 4-6PM respectively.

Come check out the new Campus Fine Wines– Cultivate your thirst!

Campus Fine Wines
127 Brook St.
Providence, RI 02906
Twitter: @campusfinewines

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