Wine bar brings taste to Huntington

Wine is arguably the world’s most unique drink; not a passive, uniform beverage that comes off an assembly line, but a transformative drink that constantly evolves. Wine lives. It continues to grow and change long after the fermentation process is complete. Yet, it’s a rare thing to see a wine bar in smaller cities and college towns. This is true for Huntington as well.
At least it used to be.
In 2012, Sip Wine Bar, the first and only wine bar in the city, opened for business at Heritage Station. Nicole Perrone, Assistant Professor at Marshall University’s Theatre Department and proprietor of Sip Wine Bar, saw the need for such a place when she first moved to Huntington in 2009.
“My husband and I grew accustomed to wine bars in places that we have lived before, in big cities” Perrone said. “We liked the atmosphere of the wine bars in those cities and we kind of wished that Huntington had one, too. It never occurred to us that we would actually own one. Then we became involved in the group Create Huntington. We were really impressed with the spirit that exists here in Huntington. So, we decided to see what we could do to add to the entertainment offerings in our city.”
That is when Perrone and her husband, Josh Dorsey, decided to open their own wine bar. Perrone said the initial plan was to move forward until they hit a wall, at which time they would consider whether it would be feasible to continue. Unfortunately, they struck that wall when it was way too late to turn back.
“It was the last push before we opened when we got hit with everything at once,” Perrone said. “Anybody who has opened a business will tell you that the early days are maddening, but we got
through them. Thank goodness we persevered. Now it is a part of our lives, not something that has taken over our lives.”
At Sip Wine Bar, the wine is served as ‘flights,’ which refers to three glasses of similar wines, each measuring 2 ounces. Perrone said that the concept is one that many wine bars utilize, giving customers the opportunity to sample a variety of wines without having to buy a whole bottle.
“What I wanted to do was make it easy for people to take risks,” Perrone said. “It’s a very low cost investment. You spend an average of three dollars for a 2 ounce taste. A lot of people may not know much about certain wines and might be intimidated to but a $50 bottle of wine. Who wants to take that chance if you don’t like it? So by tasting samples, it really helps you to discover what your personal preferences are.”
The bar also offers a several food plates to compliment their wine. Aside from a variety of cheeses, these items include Italian meats, hummus, focaccia bread and Mediterranean olives.
Perhaps the primary factor that led to the creation of Sip Wine Bar is not simply to offer an experience to the residents of Huntington, but rather to share it. Much like her customers, Perrone doesn’t enjoy wine simply for the taste, but the feeling it engenders.
“A great glass of wine has a sense of place,” Perrone said. “Just the other night I had a glass of this amazing French Bordeaux that my friend brought me. We were trying to find the words to describe it and I said, ‘It tastes like France.’ I’ve been to France and when I took a sip of that wine all the memories of that trip came back to me. It’s not just a drink, it’s an experience. I love that.”
Sip Wine Bar, located at 210 11th Street, is open Monday through Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5 midnight.


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