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A taste of life

From Olympic Cellars in Sequim to wineries in South Africa, Damiana’s Best Cellars has wine from vintages all over the world.

After signing paperwork in December and starting remodeling construction in late January, the Washington Street wine bar and cellar opened Irrigation Festival weekend. Owner Damiana Magner said she is excited to see familiar and new faces walk through the door.

Magner, a Sequim native, moved back to the peninsula two years ago from Seattle and started an online business selling organic cotton baby clothes. “I decided owning my own business would be important after having a child,” she said referring to her 2-year-old daughter. But with limited marketing experience, Magner had trouble getting the company off the ground. She decided it was time to try something different, and, at the urging of her father, committed to opening a wine shop.

“Sequim doesn’t have anywhere you can go after work where you can have a glass of wine without food,” Magner said. “There’s the town tavern and casino, but that’s a very different type of atmosphere than having a glass of wine with cheese. You can meet a friend here after work and just relax and unwind for the day.”

Magner credits her boyfriend and silent partner Brian Moody for the business’s early success. “He is the other half of my business. Everything beautiful you see, he did,” she said.

Moody, a Sequim contractor, designed and finished the inside of the building and helped fund the business.

“He stepped out and took a chance on me,” Magner said. “To have somebody love and trust you that much is amazing.”

Wine is available for sale by the glass, by the bottle and in bulk, but the conversation and advice is free.

“There’s nowhere really to talk to people about wine,” Magner pointed out. “I don’t know everything, but wine to me is a learning process and that’s what I’m doing: learning. I have a lot of confidence in what I can do with this business and how I can educate the community about different wines.”

To Magner, having a wine cellar and bar makes perfect sense. “It’s a good combination and I hope the community uses us,” she said.

“If you enjoy wine, come and try a glass,” she encouraged. “You can taste anything we have open.”

The business is a licensed, full wine and beer bar.

Upcoming events include a “Zinful” tasting with live music by Kevin Magner and Scott Bradley Price from 5-8 p.m. Friday, June 13, admission costs $15 per person.

“We are interested in doing community events,” Magner said. “I’ve had a lot of local support. I appreciate that and want to reciprocate the gesture.”

As well as being community minded, Magner is competitive. “If you can find (a bottle of wine) locally cheaper, I’m willing to match it,” she promised.

The pick of the month: Evil Cabernet from South Australia, an intense black currant, ripe plum, densely packed fruit supported by rich “cedary” oak.

Also popular with customers is the “Best Buy” rack where all bottles of wine are $15 or less.

For more information or to simply talk wine, stop by the shop during business hours, Magner said.



Presenting a world of wine by bottle and glass



Damiana’s Best Cellars, 143 W. Washington St., is open noon-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The wine bar and cellar has more than 4,000 bottles in stock from all around the world: California, Chile, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and elsewhere. For more information, call 683-7697 or send an e-mail to Damianascellars@yahoo.com.



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