Nestled in the hearts of Montclair and Morristown, New Jersey, Amanti Vino is a true destination. For two decades, the business has been a cherished destination for wine aficionados and novices alike. With an extensive wine program that spans the globe, a commitment to sustainability, and a dedication to wine education, Amanti Vino maintains its standing as a premier wine shop in the area.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with owner Sharon Sevrens, at her Montclair location. We explored what sets this wine shop apart and leaned about upcoming events, wine education initiatives, and community involvement.
A Distinctive Wine Program
I began by asking Sharon for an overview of Amanti Vino’s wine program. What sets it apart from other wine shops in the area? She explained that Amanti Vino takes pride in curating a diverse and unique selection of biodynamic, organic, handcrafted wines from around the world. Sharon staffs her stores with dedicated wine professionals and provides WSET training for her employees, focused on providing exceptional customer service.
Sharon emphasized that their approach is rooted in quality, focusing on artisanal and boutique producers, with a strong emphasis on small, family-owned wineries. “We don’t focus on ratings,” she says. “Instead I spend much of every day tasting everything that is available on market, and I buy what I think is truly the best on the market for each region and variety at all price points.”
Exploring the World of Wine
Amanti Vino’s website showcases a vast array of wines from around the world. I asked Sharon to shed light on some of the unique or lesser-known wine regions and varietals featured in her shop. She enthusiastically shared that Amanti Vino offers selections from regions like the Jura in France, Alto Piemonte in Italy, a significant skin contact white section.
She added, “One of my favorite classes that we offer at Amanti Vino is called ‘funky varietals.’ We showcase obscure varietals from around the world.”
Aside from Sharon’s passion to bring these regions to life through her selections in store, she has also launched another aspect of the business; offering curated wine travel experiences for her customers. This past spring, Sharon took two different groups for a deep-dive in Burgundy and in the near future, she will be traveling with another group to Piedmont for an exploration of Barolo!
Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Wines
In an era where sustainability and eco-friendliness are paramount, we inquired about how Amanti Vino incorporates sustainable and eco-friendly wines into its collection. Sharon emphasized their commitment to environmentally conscious winemaking practices.
“We prioritize wines produced using organic, biodynamic, and sustainable methods,” she said. “Our customers appreciate not only the excellent taste but also the responsible production behind these wines. Over eighteen years, the world has gotten much more focused on organic as well and it fits perfectly.”
Wine Events and Tastings
Amanti Vino is known for its engaging wine events and tastings. Sharon shared insights into some of the upcoming experiences wine enthusiasts can anticipate. She mentioned themed tastings, wine dinners with local restaurants, and virtual events that have broadened their reach beyond the local community.
“Our events are an opportunity for people to deepen their appreciation for wine while having fun,” she explained. Aside from their events, Amanti Vino’s Montclair location boasts its vinoteca, where customers can purchase a bottle and their favorite snacks from the store and be transported to Europe via the sights and sounds of Church Street. On this particular Saturday afternoon, I had the pleasure to pull up a seat outside and enjoy a glass during Montclair’s JazzFest. What could be better?
Empowering Wine Enthusiasts
Wine education is a fundamental aspect of Amanti Vino’s mission. During our chat, Sharon delved into how they help customers — both novices and experienced — expand their knowledge of wine. Sharon herself was educated at the Sommelier Society of America and WSET. She talked about her history of educating others, as well as the regular tastings, wine classes, and educational materials available in-store and online.
Sharon began educating through the Montclair Adult School and in 2008, she expanded the Montclair store to add an upstairs classroom. In this space, she teaches a casual Saturday afternoon class, as well as all levels of the WSET.
After our interview, I had the pleasure of attending Sharon’s class, Unsung Heroes! The Must-Know Regions of the Old World. With roughly 16 students in attendance, Sharon expertly led us through an engaging educational tasting featuring grower champagne (a huge hit!). We also tried selections from lesser-known neighbors that are just off the beaten path from the most commonly identified regions.
Wine and food pairing can elevate any dining experience. I asked Sharon if Amanti Vino offers specific recommendations or resources to assist customers in pairing wines with different cuisines. “It’s my favorite conversation,” she says. “Pairing food and wine is really fun. It doesn’t have to be intimidating.”
She continued, “The first thing I always say when someone says this is what I am going to serve is, ‘What do you like to drink,’ and we go from there.” Sharon mentioned Amanti Vino’s price tags, which all include pairing suggestions and the staff’s expertise in helping customers find the ideal wine to complement their meals.
Finally, we discussed Amanti Vino’s role both in the Montclair and Morristown communities. Sharon shared Amanti Vino’s commitment to supporting local residents and wine lovers through various initiatives. She mentioned charity events, collaborations with local businesses, and the business’s involvement in community fundraisers.
“Being part of these communities means being an active and engaged member of the community,” she concluded. Amanti Vino has partnered with Pineapple Express BBQ and Turtle + Wolf on Tuesday, October 17, at 7 p.m., to offer the first ever Birds, Bubbles ‘n’ Burgundy Event — A Benefit for Intensive Therapeutics! A leading provider of collaborative therapy programs (OT, PT, and speech), Intensive Therapeutics serves children and young adults with special needs.
Sevrens and her team possess a deep passion for wine, a commitment to sustainability, and a dedication to enriching the wine knowledge of their customers. With a unique selection, engaging events, and a strong community presence, Amanti Vino continues to be a beloved destination for wine enthusiasts in Montclair, Morristown, and beyond. So head over to Amanti Vino, where the love of wine comes to life.
30 Church Street
60A South Street