Donnelly eventually bought the business from a previous owner in 2008. She adheres to Off the Vine’s original philosophy: to offer a selection of fine wines at all price points. The store carries about 300 wine selections from all over the world.
“We look for stuff you don’t see in the big-box stores,” she said.
Off the Vine originally opened in December 1993. In honor of its 25th anniversary, Donnelly commissioned a new sign for the store, which will be hung during a community celebration in August. “We wanted to bring in a breath of fresh air,” she said.
Off the Vine also offers community activities. Donnelly said she likes to organize events that involve other local businesses.
The wine shop’s event space next door is regularly used for wine tastings that feature food from nearby restaurants.
“The other fun thing we do is something called sabering,” she said. “It’s where you cut the top off of a bottle of champagne [with a saber].”
Once a month, Donnelly teaches a group of people how to do it properly.
That talent is a far cry from when Donnelly first started. She said she hardly knew anything about wine back then. Donnelly had to learn an entirely new vocabulary to describe wine, using words such as “acidity” and “earthy.”
“I truly gained all my knowledge working here,” she said.
Customers will find handwritten notes throughout the shop for each wine, detailing flavor profiles and other descriptive notes. But if a customer does not agree with the note, that is OK, too, Donnelly said.
“Wine’s a journey,” she said. “Nineteen years, I’m here every day, learning something new.”
Off the Vine
324 S. Main St, Grapevine
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.