Thomas Morgan knows that buying a bottle of wine can be stressful. If you know nothing about wine, you lack the vocabulary to describe what you like. If you know a little bit about wine, you’re worried that your taste doesn’t match up with that of the experts. “Everybody’s insecure about wine, or, if not, they’re overly full of themselves,” Morgan says.
With Seagrape Wine Company, his small new mid-Sarasota retail store, Morgan wants to put customers at ease. There’s no shame, no judgments about your taste—just helpful recommendations from a man who knows the wider wine world. Morgan owned Sarasota’s Wine Warehouse before selling the store a decade ago. In the years afterward, he worked for Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, a California-based distributor that specializes in wines from France, Italy and the Golden State.
Morgan, who is married, with two kids, decided to open the shop after growing tired of the extensive travel that comes with working for a distributor. At Seagrape, you’ll find a carefully curated selection of bottles that mostly come from the regions he worked on behalf of Kermit Lynch, with a price range that starts as low as $8 and tops out at $90.
He works with customers to identify wines they’ll like, but also pushes them to try new varieties. “My whole business 10 years ago was built on those kinds of interactions,” Morgan says. Since he opened last December, he’s welcomed a stream of former Wine Warehouse regulars on the hunt for a new pour, and he’s eager to pick up where he left off. “Let’s continue to have this adventure,” he says.
Seagrape Wine Company is located at 4333 S. Tamiami Trail, Unit F, Sarasota. For more info, call (941) 260-9717 or visit sgwineco.com.