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The New Kids on The Block

The New Kids on The Block

San Diego, meet Juerie and Paul of Clos Wine Shop. Juerie and Paul, meet San Diego.

“I think it’s fantastic that they realized their dream, despite the nightmare situation we’re currently in. San Diego needs more stores like this, with wonderful hosts willing to go against the big box, industrial wines and introduce customers to wines made by people, not factories. ” – Vinotas Selections. Photo credit to David Dobreski

What inspired the move to SD?

J: I’ve lived in NYC for most of my life and I wanted a new experience… and to open a wine shop with the husband!

P: So many things! Wanting to get away from New York was a big part of it for me because we really wanted our own little wine shop and that opportunity doesn’t really exist in NYC anymore. We have family in LA and so every time we came to California to see them or visit with wineries we would come down here and check it out and after the second visit we were like yeah, we should totally do this, it feels so right. Also, after 20-odd years in NYC, I was pretty sure I couldn’t take another one of those miserable winters.

How did you get involved with wine?

J: Worked for a NY importer/distributor, T Edward Wines for almost 13 years. Had great opportunities to taste and travel.

P: My first two or three years in New York were spent bartending. It was the late 90s and it was mental, the city had a lot of energy around that time, there was a lot going on, a lot of places opening and not so many closing, in hindsight it was maybe kind of the beginning of the restaurant boom that’s coming to an end there now. Anyway, I got a gig at Flute Champagne Bar in Flatiron which I knew was going to be great. I mean, it’s a Champagne bar! Anyway, somehow within a month I was the head bartender and so took on the ordering responsibilities, which lead to tastings, which in turn prompted me study my first level WSET, in 2000 I think it was and it all just flowed on from there. I opened a little spot on MacDougal St in SoHo soon after that with some partners and my end was to run the beverage program. Afterwards, everything I did was wine-related so I guess it started in 2000 at Flute.

“Between the wine selection, friendly faces, plants, and snacks you’ll find yourself sitting in this spot for hours. Perfect addition to the neighborhood, and can’t wait spend many more afternoons there.” – Nicole Ledoux. Photo credit to David Dobreski.

What are you currently drinking?

J: Grenache/Syrah blends with crunchy acidity!

P: A Shacksbury + Modern Times mash-up called Top Spin. It’s a hopped cider I can’t stop drinking, I love it. When I get home tonight I’ve got an IGT from Lipari that I’ve been eyeing up for a couple of days so I’ll open that I guess. I love it, it’s all rocky and bright and rich all at the same time.

If you could change one thing in the wine industry, what would it be?

J: Starting to see moves to make the industry more inclusive and I couldn’t be more down for that.

P: People’s obsession with credentials.

Your Food Inspiration?

J: I can and will eat kimchi with anything.

P: Definitely Mediterranean and the fewer ingredients the better.

“Clos is an excellent wine shop if you want to imbibe on a new discovery. The friendly owners will point you in the right direction!” – Life & Food. Photo credit to David Dobreski

Worst thing you ever drank?

J: Hey oak-bombed chards, I am not a fan of you!

P: All the things that just taste like vanillin and wood? There’s also plenty of stuff at the other end of the spectrum that gets too mousey for me.

First time you got drunk?

J: Senior year of high school, nothing special lol.

P: Must have been about 13 or 14 and a friend had a house party with a LOT of spirits around. They might have fallen off the back of a truck, I don’t know. Anyway, that’s when I discovered whiskey. NOT pretty, sorry Sarah.

Your hangover cure?

J: Give me sleep!

P: Stage One hangover – water, aspirin and french fries with gravy and ketchup. Stage Two hangover – water, aspirin, french fries and hair of the dog. Stage Three – water, aspirin, french fries, reschedule the day, go back to bed.

“Clos Wine Shop is a charming little shop with an eclectic selection of natural and sustainable wines to fit any budget. The sunny patio is as welcoming as the warm personalities that meet you as you walk through the door. The enthusiasm for the winemaking craft is evident in both the selection and willingness to spend time finding each customer the perfect bottle for them. Clos is an exciting new addition to University Heights.” – Jack Lake. Photo credit to David Dobreski.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

J: An elementary school principal or ice cream truck driver!

P: I never really had a go-to thing I wanted to be, isn’t that weird? Now my life’s ambition is to be a good husband and a kind person. I’m not sure how I’m doing at either but it’s something to aim for.

What was your “a-ha” grape?

J: Pineau d’Aunis

P: Schiava.

The soundtrack of your life would include what three songs?

J: Depends! Right now I’ll say Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Living Life by Daniel Johnston, Obscurity Knocks by The Trash Can Sinatras.

P: LOL, that’s a bit like “What’s your favorite wine?” isn’t it because here’s the list in this moment but it’ll be different tomorrow I’m telling you. That’s How Strong My Love Is by The Gaylettes, Golden Brown By The Stranglers, Throw Your Arms Around Me by Hunters + Collectors. But you know, tomorrow it’s three different songs / wines!

Last photo you took?

J: For sure it was of one of my 2 cats!

P: Wine bottles of course!

Visit Clos Wine Shop Sunday through Wednesday 12 to 8 pm and Thursday through Saturday 12 to 9 pm. Last call is 45 minutes before closing. Give them a call (619) 915-6846 or email shop@closwineshop.com. 4521 Park Blvd, #102, San Diego, California 92116