Upon entering A Grape Pear, the wine boutique on the quaint shopping strip in Eastport, prepare to be greeted by the resident barker, a little Yorkie named Oliver. The fact that he’s there means the store’s owner, Krystle Borruso, is behind the counter manning what has to be the sole wine-only boutique on the East End.
No spirits—in fact A Grape Pear’s liquor license is only good for the sale of wine. This suits Krystle. That way she can concentrate on her preferred stock, wines (and sake, which is rice wine) from small producers she and her husband, James, have visited: wines from France, Italy, Germany, Spain, California and, of course, Long Island.
“We wanted wine that was tougher to find,” she says, “from producers you don’t usually see in other stores. Wine by families.”
“The kind not pumped out of a factory,” adds James.
The marble counter in the back was made by her husband, who is in the business of stone fabrication, as well as helping around the store. Krystle is a Long Island transplant, and James is local, having attended Center Moriches High School.
The Borrusos (at left) say business is good, with walk-in traffic comprised of shoppers who visit the antique stores that line the street. And lately, organized tours are stopping in, before they hit the wineries on the North and South Forks, for the wine tastings the shop offers on the weekends—complete with a greeting from Oliver.
This is good for a store that opened in 2009 in the middle of the Great Recession. “Everyone drinks wine,” says Krystle. “In good times and bad.”