There are few things better equipped to bring people together than wine and spirits. At Wainscott Main, you’ll find both, paired with a palpable sense of community. This is less a matter of happenstance than design. For Chimene Macnaughton, Wainscott Main’s general manager, community is as important as wine.
This desire to serve—and, in turn, foster a sense of connectedness across the East End—inspires Wainscott Main’s Somm-on-Call concierge service. “This was our first summer doing it,” says Macnaughton. “Basically, we offered to meet our customers wherever—at the Jitney, at the train, at their dinner reservations—on Fridays between 5 and 9 p.m. Obviously, we tried deliberately to appeal to commuters, but we’ve been so lucky to connect with a lot of locals, too. It’s been really, really successful.”
It is not difficult to understand why. The delivery minimum is just six bottles (or $75), and all orders can be placed directly online. Wainscott Main even offers its own curated menu.
“We’ll be running the service until Black Friday,” says Macnaughton, before turning the conversation to what is obviously her most passionate subject: wine education.
Enter #WineWednesday. Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. (through December 9), Wainscott Main will host workshops for winos of all levels. Workshops will range from “Tasting Fundamentals: Benchmarks & Terroir in the Glass” to “Shop it Like a SOMM: Wines for Your Celebration Table That Won’t Break the Bank” and will feature hosts such as Andrew Bell, co-founder of the American Sommelier Association, and Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards.
Also noteworthy for the would-be wine student is the price: just $10 per workshop.
“There really is no formal wine education on Long Island,” says Macnaughton. “Everything is very Manhattan-based. So, obviously, we wanted to change that. We wanted to be open to all, to be entry level both money-wise and expertise-wise. We picked Wednesday, because we wanted to put it together on a night that wasn’t already being used by another local business. Community is really important to us. I just thought to myself, ‘What if someone could just waltz in, pay 10 bucks and get a sommelier’s level of experience? How fun would that be?’”