Readers respond to the June 23 issue

Signs o’ the times

Regarding your question, “What would you like to see on the site?” [“SoHo comes to Fifeville," Development News, June 16], we live on Nalle Street, which is one block long, beginning on the open triangle property. Children play on this block, and there is a school bus stop at the end of the block. I would like to see speed humps on Nalle Street, and signs that alert drivers that there is a school bus stop, and signs to slow down for the children. That’s not too much to ask. Thanks.

Mark Gruber

Caveat emptor

Wine Guilds have been around for a long time [“Membership has its privileges,” The Working Pour, June 16]. Today almost all are tied to a real brick and mortar store. The Charlottesville Wine Guild is not, and I do wonder how Mr. Richey and Group were issued a Gourmet licence by the ABC, but as Bob Harllee was quoted, it is between the ABC and the licence holder.

My question is, does it really save the consumer money? Do the math: If you do not purchase 11 cases of wine at an average price of $20 per bottle before discount and state tax, you will not recover your $200.

You can walk in to most of the gourmet shops in Charlottesville and get 15 percent off on a 12-bottle mix at no cost of membership.

My advice to consumers who buy a case a wine a month or more is to shop and compare prices. Especially now, there are a lot of bargains out there to take advantage of and none of the other shops charge $200 (or more) for that privilege.

Stan Rose
Albemarle County

License to chill

I know the local wine scene as well as anyone as a 20+ year veteran in the wine business and current manager of Rio Hill Wine & Gourmet. Why is it you guys keep giving much free press to the Wine Guild? Your article is like an advertisement to join. Are there any other local retailers you recommend?  Will Richey’s comment, “If you are more serious about wine, the Wine Guild is a no brainer” is ridiculous. As if other retailers are not. Most if not all of the independent retailers do this for a living 24/7, giving consumers many choices in Charlottesville. The only controversy though is that the ABC has issued a questionable license in the eyes of some other retailers compared to the standard the other Gourmet Shop Licensed retailers meet to qualify for an “off premise gourmet shop license.”

The VAABC states a Gourmet Shop Licensed retailer is “an establishment provided with adequate inventory, shelving and storage facilities, where in consideration of payment, substantial amounts of domestic and imported wines and beers and related products such as cheeses and gourmet foods are habitually furnished to persons. For the sale of wine and beer off-premises, a gourmet shop must have minimum annual sales of $12,000 of cheeses and gourmet foods and inventory (cost) of $1,000 in the edible items stated above.”

As far as the guild offering some huge discount, 23 percent off retail means nothing unless you mention markups. Most wine shops and retailers buy large quantities of wine regularly from various wholesalers giving them a lower cost perhaps than the Guild may get if they are not buying as much of a particular wine. So even if another retailer offers a case discount of 15 percent you still end up with the same cost or less to the consumer without having to pay a $200 fee for the discount. Buyers can cost compare easily enough.  

Doug Hotz
Rio Hill Wine & Gourmet


In last week’s Development story “Futuristic, green design for new car wash,” we implied that the design of the new University Car Wash is such that people would be able to walk alongside while the car is being washed. University Car Wash will, in fact, will require that people remain in their vehicles while they are washed.


Due to a reporting error in last week’s Red Dirt Alert, “ACAC comes to Old Trail,” we mistakenly identified Trailside Coffee as Trail 5 Coffee and da Luca Café and Wine Bar as baLuca. Also, we stated that Old Trail Village was put up for sale in April. Andrea Sarate, spokesperson for Beights Corporation and Old Trail Village, corrects us that Old Trail is a development with both commercial and residential sectors that can be developed by individuals or groups. “Old Trail Village always has been, and will remain, ‘for sale’ in whole or in part,” she says.

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