By Connie Raley,
Jonathan Maisano has a deep passion for his work, and it shows at Maisano's Fine Wine and Spirits. Although he carries over 1600 varietals of wine and 700 spirits, 200 of which are whiskey, Jonathan does not want his customers to feel intimidated by the selection. Instead, he and his knowledgeable staff offer guidance in helping customers find new Wine and Whiskey to enjoy.
His vision when he opened in 2005, just after Hurricane Katrina, was to complement great selection with great customer service in order to help people navigate through the products to find something new and exciting to experience. While he still offers the basics and longtime favorites, he also wants to introduce his patrons to small family-owned wineries, many of which the owners and winemakers he has known personally for years.
Jonathan’s journey began many years ago in fine dining as a service professional where he learned much about wine. He had a great affection for the industry and became certified as a Level 1 Sommelier. He considered continuing into restaurant management but soon discovered that his greatest interest was in the wine itself and the intricacies of flavor and profile.
His interest grew to the point that led him to open his own store with great shop-ability and knowledgeable staff. He has done just that and enjoys a faithful following since opening in 2005.
About 5 years ago, Jonathan’s interest turned to bourbons. He began visiting distilleries, learning more about the craft and the product. He now goes all over the country looking for special single-barrel bourbons to send home and become Maisano Hand Select Offerings. He does a blind tasting of anywhere from 3-10 barrels on each visit and chooses his favorite. He signs his name on the barrel, and within a few short months, has specially bottled bourbons straight from the maker with an exclusive label for Maisano’s Fine Wine and Spirits.
The new releases generally sell out pretty quickly, one recently within twenty hours of its arrival. Maisano’s has a loyal base of bourbon drinkers around the country who will call as soon as the new barrels arrive and purchase their bottles to pick up next time they are in town.
Now the sommelier turned business owner is expecting 30 hand selected barrels to be shared this year alone. Local restaurants such as White Pillars Restaurant and Lounge , The Rackhouse, Steaks & Spirits in Gulfport and The Wilbur Bar located in the Roost Hotel are a few of the restaurants who pour some of these Maisano Hand Select Single Barrel Bourbon Offerings.
Throughout the year, Maisano’s hosts different events and dinners that involve wine and bourbon tasting and pairings. To find out more about these events, and single barrel releases please visit their website or follow on social media.
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