The sizeable Kerrigan Brothers wine-tasting counter lines up nearly 30 bottles for free samples, and owner Troy Landwehr makes the experience fun by delivering pairing advice with humorous quips. Most of the fruit in these wines comes from Wisconsin: cranberries from Merrill, apples and cherries from Door County, and strawberries from Neenah. The wines range from semisweet apple-cranberry to spicy tomato with a hint of jalapeño (which Landwehr advises customers to doctor like a bloody mary). Our favorites were the Apple Pie, the Old Fashioned Cherry and the Spiked Lemon. Bottle prices range from $8.95 to $19.95.
The store also carries fun and fancy decorative items, mostly wine related, and retro signs saying things like “Hunting Cabins” and “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends.” Kitchen accessories, cheese servers and trays sit next to wine bottle covers that look like little black T-shirts spouting “Sip Happens,” “Pour, Drink, Repeat” and other wisdoms.
Besides being one heck of an entrepreneur, Troy has another talent—he is perhaps the premiere award-winning cheese sculptor in Wisconsin, creating the Statue of Liberty and other works of art out of 1,200-pound blocks of cheddar. He had a one-hour lesson at the Cheese Festival in Little Chute as a kid, and the rest is history.