eville1Upstairs Tasting & Education Room Ready for Scotch Tasting Event Jan. 10

E-Ville Spirits Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary on Dec. 18

Upstairs Tasting & Education Room Ready for Scotch Tasting Event Jan. 10

By Jennie Acklin

Shannon Carscallen is a busy person, always looking for new and innovative ways to bring the latest trends in wines and liquors to her customers. So busy, in fact, that her staff had to remind her that her store’s 10th anniversary was next week — Dec. 18 — and that it should be celebrated!

Carscallen is a third generation wine storeowner. Her father, Jann Carscallen, owner of Gates Circle Wines in Buffalo, was looking to retire in 2002, and asked Shannon to join his business. Although she had worked for him for many years, she knew that what she really wanted was her own store in Ellicottville. The Carscallens had essentially grown up here, being long-time residents and skiers, so the move was an easy decision.

Dedicated Employees

Bob Duke is celebrating his 10-year anniversary as well — he’s been there from the start.

“It was meant to be,” said both Duke and Carscallen of their longstanding friendship.

They complement each other’s tastes extremely well and love working together. Duke came out of retirement when he began working for E-Ville Spirits. His extensive 25-year career as a salesperson made him a good fit for working with customers.

Another long-time employee, Judith McCandless, retired from E-Ville Spirits about a year and a half ago, after working in the shop for eight years.

Lindsey Bishop is the newest member of E-Ville Spirits, joining Carscallen’s team in September 2012. Lindsey is “excellent,” according to Carscallen, and has taken over the internet wine promotions department, with young and fresh ideas. Always wanting to learn more about the industry and the product offerings, she has made herself invaluable at the store.

Upstairs Scotch Tastings

Duke has taken it upon himself to learn everything about the liquors and wines offered at the shop, and has taken a personal interest in scotch tastings. Selections have expanded along with customer requests and industry trends. Their customers travel all over the country and may try a scotch in Denver or Chicago, then naturally ask Duke if he can get it locally for them. The store is so full of unusual and rare offerings, such as Pims liqueurs. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean they don’t have it. Just ask and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Duke has now taken on a new role. He is the official “Scotch Guy,” hosting several scotch tastings and running the popular Scotch Club.

The first tasting will be held in the newly expanded upstairs educational and tasting room on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. The event is dedicated to the Grand Opening of E-Ville Spirits’ upstairs space.

Scotch tasting events require pre-registration, and have a capacity of 20 participants. Designed to be an educational seminar, five to six varieties of scotch will be presented, from single malt to blended. Two more events are planned for February and March, and customers are encouraged to watch their emails and the Ellicottville Times for more information.

The upstairs room is quite stunning, right from the first step. Carscallen designed the entire project with elements from her travels to wineries, distilleries, wine cellars, restaurants and various homes throughout the world. She credits Chris Bishop for overseeing the construction details, and utilized local contractors and materials wherever possible.

Grand Opening 

The official Grand Opening of the upstairs will take place this spring, with more details to be announced.

“Our 10 years of success, regardless of the economy or competition, is due to a positive attitude that always adjusted to customer needs,” said Carscallen. “Current mixology trends, such as higher quality ingredients, are part of the education process that is taken seriously by everyone at the shop. Major liquor distributor events in Las Vegas and NYC set those trends, and are filtered across the country.”

World-Wide Selection

Carscallen travels extensively across the country and around the world, learning everything she can about wineries and vineyards. She plans to travel to Oregon and Washington states this year to learn all she can about the Columbia Valley wines, among others.

“Every winery is different. Climate, soil and weather conditions affect the vines and the water content of the grapes, which affects the final product so uniquely,” said Carscallen.

Her search for fine wines and spirits have taken her to South Africa, France, Italy, the Highlands of Scotland, Argentina, Chile, Germany, Spain, California, the NY Finger Lakes, the Chautauqua Wine Trail, and the Whiskey Trail of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Everyone is invited to help celebrate their 10-year anniversary next Wednesday, Dec. 18, by stopping into the store. Wines will be 15 percent off, and all liquors will be 5 percent off ( see details on page 2). You might just find your next favorite wine or liquor there.