My name is Shane McCarthy and I have been a wine merchant in the Bangor area for over 10 years. I did not grow up in a house where wine was regular part of the family dinner, nor was there ever any “good” wine in the house. My parents sometimes kept a bottle of Taylor Pink Catawba in the fridge and it would take them weeks to finish it. My first wine experience was not a good one. My parents offered me a glass of the aforementioned wine on my 16th birthday. It tasted so bad that I did not drink wine again until I was in my mid 20′s. My interest in wine did not really began until I worked as a dining room host in Freeport in 1993. I heard the staff members talking about all these wines that I had never heard of, and it inspired me to learn more about wine. I was a beer guy, still am. I took the dining room host position because I wanted to pursue a restaurant managers job. I needed to learn how restaurants “worked” before I could run one, and wine knowledge would be essential.
In 1995, I landed my first restaurant managers job, and even though it was a “microbrewery” restaurant, I knew that it was important to have a decent wine list. Not everyone drinks beer. Three years later, I left my second “microbrewery” restaurant managers job and decided to focus all my attention on wine. I took a job at a local wine shop where I had been attending wine tastings. I was able to attend my first wine seminar, (tasting for the trade) while working there and came to realize how little I knew about wine. I left that wine shop and went to work in the best (and busiest) wine shop on the coast of Maine. I learned a lot. I opened a restaurant/ wine bar, and my first wine shop in 2000.
I have owned my current wine shop since 2004. I have attended countless wine trade shows and classroom style seminars since that first one back in 1999, I’ve even taught a few of my own. I have learned that Wine is something that you can never know everything about, because it changes every year. That is what fascinates me and why I am in the wine business. I am passionate about good food, good wine and the relationship that they share. I believe that wine is an integral part of the dining experience…and that should be celebrated every day.