Street Talk

By Hannah Wallace & Mark Ormond February 1, 2009


Big Splash

A wine aficionada brings fresh flavor to Sarasota.

Rebecca Robinson has been of legal drinking age for only four years. But the 25-year-old professional wine expert for St. Armands’ Cork restaurant recently became only the second Sarasotan currently certified by the London-based Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Robinson’s early oenophile experience came from communion wine—her father, the Rev. Fred Robinson, is rector at downtown Sarasota’s Church of the Redeemer. (She now describes the communion ruby port as "horrible stuff.")

But it was a post-college job at Wine Warehouse that led her to study at wineries in South Africa and France. Now, she says she’s excited about developing Cork’s wine program, despite the current economy.

"Even though times are pretty tough, it doesn’t mean everyone has to sit at home and drink bad wine," she declares. —Hannah Wallace


buzz: Everything old is new again.

Bill Hartman, whose father, William, was a painter and whose mother, Martha, remains an active artist, is expanding his business on Palm Avenue beyond selling art and framing; he’s now offering digital enlargements of historic photographs that he has collected or borrowed from friends. Many images were taken by a man named Dalton who worked for the Sarasota Herald in the 1920s.

Working with the small original photos, which are often faded or damaged, Hartman scans and digitally remasters them, restoring contrast and making other improvements in a process that can take as long as 90 minutes for each image. Hartman says there’s been a tremendous interest from locals. "But my customers are the new arrivals who buy them for conversation starters," he adds. "They’re a great way to introduce visitors to the area." —Mark Ormond


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