• Liquid Geography: Understanding Faraway Lands Through the Fruit of the Vine

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    Cape Cod Package Store
    As one of the first liquor licenses to be issued in the Town of Barnstable after the repeal of prohibition, Cape Cod Package Store has quite a history in the village of Centerville. Owned and operated by the Pendergast family since 1939, Cape Cod Package Store has been in the wine & beverage retail business for 72 years. Jack and Sylvia Pendergast opened the original store at 404 Main Street in Centerville. In the early 1940’s, the business was moved to 1489 Falmouth Road on Route 28 (pictured above right) and later expanded to encompass the existing location, at 1495 Falmouth Road.


    Our Sommelier, Diane Slater of Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wine & Spirits, can be reached at sommelier@luxxcapecod.com. Ask her your questions about wine. We’d love to hear form you. 

    What is the most intimate way to understand a parcel of earth?

    The French call it terroir. It is the innate expression of the land itself through the fruit of the vine. Wine, at its best, is an expression of its birthplace, the soil, weather patterns, geology and even a reflection of what else grows near it.

    Sauvignon Blanc grown in the appellation of Sancerre in the Loire Valley reveals the stony character of limestone on which it is grown. Australian Shiraz can sometimes show heavy eucalyptus notes due to the proximity of gum trees. California Cabernets are full bodied and ripe with fruit due to the ample sunshine they receive, whereas Cabernet from Bordeaux, where it is rocky and cooler, shows much more restrain in the expression of the fruit, offering more tannins and a leaner structure.

    Wine, at its best – reflecting all the properties that contribute to its nuances and profile – is what I call liquid geography

    The Tasting Room at Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wines & Spirits offers 24 wines at all times for your tasting pleasure. They are preserved and dispensed from an Italian wine system called enomatic. We have called our wine-tasting room aptly Liquid Geography.

    The wines are preserved with argon, a dense, inert gas that prevents spoilage. That way we can open a bottle and be assured of its continued integrity. The chiller carries white wines, which in the warmer months are brimming with dry rosés from France, Italy and Spain.

    The enomatic carousel holds 16 red wines for your tasting pleasure at any time during our open hours. They are arranged in a circular fashion, aligned from ligher reds to heavier styles.

    We encourage you to taste the white wines first and then move through the reds frm light to heavy. This allows your palate to understand the wines better. If you taste an Australian Shiraz, then pour a Pinor Noir, you have done the Pinot Noir an injustice because your palate will still be feeling the weight of the red. Always taste white to red and light to heavy.

    As you begin the tasting experience, begin with dry rosés and Sauvignon Blancs and progress to the Chardonnays and then Rieslings, leaving the fruitier and heavier wines for last. If you have tasted reds and then must go back to whites, try a sip and swirl of the Riesling to cleanse your palate.

    We are dedicated to wine education, and these enomatic wine machines allow us to expose oru clients to a much more varied wine experience. The ability to try it before you buy it is a big plus for the collector, as well as the novice.

    Our Liquid Geography allows you to find great utilitarian wines as well as those special bottles for collection. We offer a temperature-controlled room for the more prestigious bottles, and they are kept at a perfect 56 degrees.

    To truly taste a red wine properly, 56 degrees is perfect. A room in July is more likely to be in the 70s or even warmer. In that temperature, its alcohol will bloom, and the wine will lose its character and just taste hot.

    Diane Slater is the sommelier at The Wine Shop at Cape Cod Package Store. She can be reached at diane@capecodpackagestore.com or at sommelier@luxxccapecod.com

    March 16, 2014