Last week, we mentioned a fun little wine shop called Vinhos & Coisas, which happens to be located not a block away from yet another fantastic wine shop called Wine O’Clock. Founded in 2006 by wine enthusiast, António Nora; wine collector, Francisco Freitas; and soccer player and wine lover, Pedro Emanuel, Wine O’Clock is a super swanky two tierred wine shop lined with dark hardwood floors, large flatscreen TVs and computer monitors for you to peruse their website at your leisure.
Wine O’Clock consists of 3 stores located in Matosinhos – just north of Porto, Aveiro – just south of Porto, and Lisbon, with plans to open two more shops in 2010 in both Lisbon and the Algarve, if the economy permits. There is also whisperings of further expansion into the UK, Angola, Holland, Belgium and Spain.
The mission behind Wine O’Clock is to provide a wide range of international wines at, or near, supermarket prices, which is savvy strategy considering the current economic situaton. Stocking over 3,000 wines, of which 70% is Portuguese (primarily from the Douro and Alentejo) and 30% is foreign (primarily from Argentina, Chile, Australia and Champagne), Wine O’Clock aims to provide the customer attentive customer service, a wide range of tastings and ample information on wine, as seen by their impressive website, which is easy to maneauver, simple and attractive. Although currently limited to Portuguese, feel free to email the store with any questions you have in either English or Spanish, as the staff is said to be well versed in both languages.
Another interesting and unique feature of Wine O’Clock is their rotating sponsor section, allowing wineries to contract space within the store to use it as they see fit. Neither Ryan, nor I, have ever seen a wine retail shop use their space in such an innovative manner. Depending on how the winery uses the space, it has the potential of educating the consumer about the winery in a very unique and personalized way.
If I had one complaint of the store, it would be their focus on Douro and Alentejo wines of Portugal. Although I can’t argue with what market demands, as a wine educator, I can always hope that retailers want to exploit all the fantastic regions and styles of Portugal. Like Rioja within Spain, the Douro and the Alentejo get the majority of the limelight, which shadows fantastic regions like Vinho Verde, the Dao and the Bairrada.
However, this shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting. Fun, modern and interactive, Wine O’Clock is absolutely worth a visit on your next trip to Porto.
Enjoy Ryan’s interview of António Nora below!
Rua de Sousa Aroso, 297
Tel: +351 229 363 127
Fax: +351 229 397 269
Catavino visit the wine shop, Wine o’Clock, and recieves a couple of recommendations.
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