For the Love of Wine
Photography by Wes Battoclette
When David and Jan Lazarus, owners of Water Tower Fine Wines, started dating, they formed a mutual love for one another and wine. The couple frequently attended wine tastings at the Mushroom in Mount Adams where the occasional date night transformed into a hobby for the two.
“We liked what we learned about wine and we always thought that it would be something that we would like to do – something we could work together at. We met a lot of people there who became friends and we were in a lot of wine groups. It sort of just grew from there as something that we always wanted to do,” Jan says.
One could say entrepreneurship runs through the veins of both David and Jan. David is a relative of the “merchant prince,” Fred Lazarus Jr., the founder of Federated Department Stores that later became Macy’s. Jan’s parents owned and operated a number of general stores throughout east central Kentucky. Together the couple celebrated their love of wine and honored their family’s entrepreneurial spirit by opening Water Tower Fine Wines, conveniently located in Mount Washington in 2009.
What separates Water Tower Fine Wines from other retailers is the selection. “Other than say Jungle Jim’s or Arrow Wines in Dayton, we have more wine than virtually anyone else in the region,” David says. “We have more champagne and sparkling wines than all but a handful of stores in the country. We have 180 different champagnes and 130 sparkling wines. Most other wine stores in the area max out at 80 to 100 between champagne and sparkling wines – a lot of times that is right around the holidays, they don’t carry that much year round. We have over 2,000 wines. We also by default sell older vintages. I’m not as concerned about trying to clean things out because a lot of the red wines will only get better with age.”
Water Tower Fine Wines also carries an impressive selection of verticals (multiple vintages of a type of wine) of several harder-to-find or cult wines including Hundred Acres, Amuse Bouche, and Verite.
David concentrates his time and talents on the shop’s day-to-day affairs while Jan, a registered dietitian and chef, spends a great deal of her time developing menus for the shop’s various wine tastings. When Jan isn’t busy in the kitchen or at the shop, she can be found giving private counseling for diabetes education.
Join the couple every Friday for a relaxing wine tasting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The weekly event includes wine flights and a dinner buffet prepared by Jan. Guests can choose to sample a flight of red or white wines for $15. For $20 to $25, guests can sample both flights. Reservations are not necessary, however reservations are preferred for large groups. “If you come to a Friday night tasting not knowing anybody, you’re going leave with new friends that you’ll get together with outside of the store by the end of the tasting,” David says.
Water Tower Fine Wines also hosts a number of additional events including a monthly dinner tasting, Saturday afternoon tastings, Sunday champagne brunch, and an ultra-premium dinner tasting.
Whether you’re a connoisseur or a novice, Water Tower Fine Wines is readily available to assist customers in their wine appreciation journey.
Water Tower Fine Wines is located at 6136 Campus Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45230. You can reach them at 513.231.WINE (9463), by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.watertowerfinewines.com.