Lauri and Barrett Nichols, owners of Bottle Riot in the River Arts District, didn’t miss a beat in adapting their business to reach customers during the pandemic. During a time when many of us find ourselves reaching for an extra nightcap, Bottle Riot’s signature collection of natural and small-batch wines and European beers is still readily available through online ordering, curbside pick-up and delivery. The online store includes a curated list of bottles $21 and less, including reds, whites, rosés, oranges, pét-nats and sparkling wines listed by category. Online visitors will also find new Bottle Riot merchandise including t-shirts, socks, wine glasses and limited-edition face masks.
Customers can also still benefit from behind-the-bar expertise. Contact the shop with preferences and budget and the Bottle Riot experts will provide personalized picks and recommendations. “I am having so much fun customizing cases for our customers,” says Lauri. “We have something for everyone and at every price range.” This curation process has been a small respite of joy for the Nichols during an otherwise disappointing time. “We have a great rosé this year unlike any other: Folk Machine Rosé,” says Barrett. “I couldn’t wait to see people’s faces when they tried it at the bar, but I won’t have that pleasure this year. Retail just isn’t the same. We don’t get to drop some crazy new wine on people and see their faces light up when they try it.”
While the Nichols miss sharing their passion from across the bar, they recognize there is a silver lining to all of this. “We have had a chance to fall back in love with the wines we carry and new wines we are adding,” says Lauri. “The customer interaction is keeping me sane. I deliver to their car and can thank them personally and show my gratitude. Every little bit counts right now, whether a case or a bottle—we are grateful.”
Bottle Riot is located in the lower level of Wedge Studios at 37 Paynes Way, Asheville. Pickup and delivery hours are Monday through Friday from 1–5 p.m. For additional information, including a current list of wines and beers available for pickup and delivery, visit BottleRiot.com. Connect at facebook.com/bottleriot, instagram.com/bottleriot and twitter.com/bottleriot.