As many of our loyal customers already know, 2019 marks the 32nd year of Paul Marcus Wines setting up shop at Market Hall. To recognize this milestone, PMW published our first ever Wine Zine earlier this spring. In it, we highlighted several new wineries that we are excited about, as well as recipes, and a fun chronicle of the early years at the shop. For this month’s newsletter, we decided to reprint Part 1 of the history of PMW – from 1987 up through the late 1990s. We hope that you enjoy this wine trip down PMW memory lane!
Yes, it’s true, Paul Marcus Wines recently celebrated our 32nd anniversary! It has been a remarkable journey, filled with wonderful customers, and of course, thousands of bottles of wine. As most folks who frequent the shop know, Paul Marcus Wines champions the notion that “wine is food”. But how did our guiding principle come to pass?
Let’s rewind to 1974, when Paul embarked on a four-month trip through France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The voyage was both a blast and life-changing. His experiences with the people, cuisine and
European landscape crystalized the notion that food and wine go hand in hand, and that at their best, are connected to a sense of place. For years, Paul remembered each wine he tasted on this trip, and returned stateside with a deep curiosity to learn more.
Over the next decade, and while working at Leopold Records as the main buyer, Paul immersed himself in wines from the Rhone Valley, Italy and Burgundy. At the request of his friends, he began to select wines from these regions to enjoy with their meals. Unbeknownst to Paul at the time, opening a wine shop to share his passion for wine and food was in his future.
Fast forward to Saturday March 14th, 1987, when Paul Marcus Wines opened its doors in Market Hall, the European styled marketplace in the heart of Rockridge. The shop featured several hundred wines from Europe and California, and Paul and his two employees were thrilled share their journey of food and wine with their neighbors. At the time, Rockridge was a sleepy little neighborhood, and not considered part of the East Bay food and wine scene. However, things began to change.
Throughout the 1990s, Market Hall and PMW became fixtures of the Rockridge community. Folks from the area and beyond were thirsty for food friendly wines to pair with the remarkable products available at Market Hall. Of course, PMW was thrilled to help slake their thirst. Paul’s wine team grew to four employees in order to assist customers at the busy Oakland wine shop. “Wine is food” continued to inform all activities at Paul Marcus Wines, and continues to this day. Please Stay tuned for Part II coming soon!