New owner of wine shop revamps space
DARIEN — After nearly 30 years, a local wine shop has undergone a complete rebrand in both name and looks.
Formerly Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines, the store is now called Sipstirs. The space — which has doubled in size — was renovated to give a more rustic appearance. Barrels and new tables were brought in with the redesign, and a new aisle of hard liquor added.
The changes are the work of owner David Wagner, a 32-year-old Stamford resident, who has been in the wine business for about 14 years. The store switched hands on March 6, when previous owner Nico Troilo sold the business to Wagner.
“Previously I was on the supplies side, the distributors side. Handling brands directly,” said Wagner, noting he was able to learn a lot coming from the other side of the industry.
From learning the various wine brands to understanding how to work with retailers, his experiences will play a part in running the new business, he said.
“It lets me know what I can get from the vendors. There’s a lot of pull and play,” he said. “But I also relate to them on a higher level because I’ve been on the ground with them.”
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The new name has some history behind it.
“I’ve actually been using Sipstirs as a name for a number of years,” Wagner said. “It was more of a network of sharing. I wanted to know what people were drinking. It was more of a social media pun. So I decided to keep the name.”
Sipstirs offers wine, beer and spirits. The store has a wine club, and members can get a 15 percent discount on monthly drink selections.
“Now I want to do more,” Wagner said. “You start realizing there’s a lot more you want do.”
The store has a number of events planned, including a paint-and-sip event on Sept. 26. Wagner said participants will taste the wine brand Crios, by Susana Balbo, Argentina’s first female winemaker, and color their own label, which will be attached to a bottle for them to take home. Tickets are $20.
Wagner is partnering with other area shops and hopes Sipstirs becomes the community store. In the future, he said, he may open more stores.
“Nothing is easy,” Wagner said. “We’re putting in the work now, and hopefully it’ll pay off.”