Craft, pt. 1: Cultivating a Collection

And we’re back! Carole and I would like for you to take a journey around Waco with us, exploring the craft culture that makes Waco oh, so special.  We’ll show off some of the big name places you already know and love, but we’ll hopefully introduce you to some diamonds in the rough as well.

Our first stop–one of our absolute favorite places to haunt Wednesday-Saturday: The Waco Wine Shoppe.

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I first walked into David Mayfield’s Wine Shoppe on a gloomy day in December, just a month after he had opened his doors.

As my feet crossed the threshold, I was immediately struck by the tasting room’s artful design:  A cool, white marble bar perfectly balances the warm yellow glow radiating from the edison bulbs that hang strategically from the ceiling.  An enormous abstract painting hangs on a wall directly opposite David’s large, wooden shelves, lined with beautiful bottles of wine.  I thought to myself: “Surely, this place cannot exist in Waco, Texas.”

As I pulled up a stool and began my very first tasting, I had no idea that my palette and my overall relationship with wine would forever be changed.

IMG_6146David Mayfield wears many hats within the wine industry: he’s an importer and distributor in addition to owning a retail wine business.  What doesn’t come through in any of those titles is his dedication to sourcing unique wines from small producers who follow a specific, natural winemaking philosophy.

David’s carefully cultivated collection of natural, organic wine, in many cases, allows Wacoans to access wine unavailable anywhere else in the U.S.  I could go into excruciating detail about biodynamic wine and why it matters, but in keeping with our Sobremesa philosophy, I’m more interested in exploring how the Wine Shoppe’s existence has impacted the Waco community, creating a sacred space for unpretentious wine tasting, providing the opportunity for old friends, new friends, and perfect strangers to gather together around high-quality wine.

David’s events, which range from free (the Friday night apertivo) to more high-end dining experiences (ranging between $55-75/person) offer incredible opportunities for the novice and the expert to experience the complexity and beauty of these specially cultivated wines together. Once the wine begins to flow, the conversation does as well, opening the door to deeper human connection.

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When my husband and I invited our families to Waco to celebrate our marriage, we held a pre-party event at the Wine Shoppe, inviting the locals to mingle with the out-of-towners.  I hoped it would be a good time for all, but I was not prepared for the evening to transform into pure magic.  The atmosphere, combined with great food and conversation, extended an opportunity for a diverse mix of people and generations to connect, tell stories, and laugh.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”  We couldn’t agree more with this statement, as it sums up the true essence of sobremesa. This is why we tip our hats to David for creating this space for us to slow time, fill our cups, and live a fuller, more satisfying life.

Stay tuned for more thoughts on craft.  Who should we feature? Comment with your suggestions!