When Christos and Anna Adams of Bellingham’s Old World Deli explored the possibility of expanding their two-year-old business to its present location in 2009, the increased floor space was somewhat of a concern.
“We kept coming back and asked ourselves, ‘how are we going to fill all of this space?’” Christos recalls.
Fortunately for Whatcom County foodies and wineophiles, they dedicated a major portion of the deli to a wine and specialty foods section. While there were only about a dozen wines at the old location, Old World Deli now has several hundred bottles to choose from.
“We have the luxury of selling meats and cheeses, so we don’t need to sell the wines right away, like a (conventional) wine shop,” Christos says.
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I taste with two palates, mine and my customers.
Christos Adams, co-owner, Old World Deli
That has allowed them to steadily increase their inventory to include one of the county’s best selections of European wines, as well as dozens of premium labels from Washington, Oregon, and California. Prices range from about $8.95 a bottle for wines for everyday enjoyment, to over triple-digit priced wines for consumers with plenty of disposable income.
The wines at Old World Deli are designed, in part, to pair with the meats and cheeses served there. They’re also a reflection of Christos’ personal tastes, which include current favorites from Sicily and Piedmont in Italy as well as France’s Côtes du Rhône and Loire Valley wine regions.
When deciding what wines make the cut, Christos says “I taste with two palates, mine and my customers.”
And because people sometimes purchase a wine without thinking about the food to serve with it, he primarily chooses wines that should work as meal-friendly accompaniments.
Other services provided by the deli include a “10 Wines for $10” tasting event the last Thursday of each month, and a Food and Wine Club with monthly features that include three specially selected wines with custom tasting notes, an assortment of meats and cheeses, and discount pricing privileges.
“We can also special order wines and have them in-store usually within a week,” Christos says, “and we may be the only place in town that offers 15 percent off a single-varietal case.”
It’s that kind of customer service that has made Old World Deli a favorite of many a Whatcom County wine enthusiast.
Old World Deli
Address: 1228 N. State St., Bellingham
Contact: 360-738-2090, oldworlddeli1.com