[Cross-posted at www.calgaryisawesome.com]
Brian Greenslade isn’t much for titles. Though he has full command over the ordering and inventory direction of the Ferocious Grape, a prestigious position for which others may have taken the label “Wine Director” or “Sommelier”, FG’s website simply anoints him as their resident “Wine Lover”. Brian’s business card is even more nondescript; below his name, where most people broadcast their employment station, it simply reads “[Insert Title Here]“. If I had to name one thing that separates the Ferocious Grape from the rest of the pack of Calgary wine boutiques, it would be this kind of laid-back, utterly pretension-free attitude, an approach that remembers that wine is just a drink to be shared among friends, not one that should make you feel like you have to keep an eye on your credentials.
My experience with Ferocious Grape goes back almost to its opening in 2008. I used to live in the Beltline, a few blocks from FG’s storefront at 8th Street and 10th Avenue SW, so they ended up becoming my friendly neighbourhood wine shop. I was just starting to get interested in wine at that point, yearning to know more but still totally uncomfortable at the thought of venturing alone into a wine store and being peppered with questions to which I had no answers by some wine-snob-in-training. Upon noticing this brand new shop a stone’s throw away from my place, however, I couldn’t help but stop in, and I was amazed to walk into a funky, relaxed, pressure-free atmosphere where there was always a full glass waiting for me and never any intimidation factor associated with the products being sold. Read the rest of this entry »