First the good news:

I recently announced that a shorter version of my newspaper column Grape Sense would soon start appearing in Indianapolis’ weekly news and entertainment paper, NUVO.

My first piece ran today and is up on their website. The editors very much want a local and Indianapolis focus. Since the column has never overlapped much of the Indianapolis market previously, they were fine with me re-purposing a couple of columns I suggested.

The first one running was my story about River City Winery winning the Indy International Wine Competition’s top honor. Here is the link to the NUVO site and my column.

The column, and an occasional feature, will run at least twice a month. It’s great to have Grape Sense in the Indianapolis market. NUVO is a free distribution paper of more than 40,000 copies.

And now the bad:

Vino 100, Columbus, OH., is closing its doors. The Vino 100 concept is a national franchise the plays heavily on flavor profiles and a consistent look from store to store.

Like any good shop, the Columbus store was driven by its owner Liz Avera. Liz is knowledgable and friendly. She had built a good customer base. The store was located in the affluent Westerville suburb of Columbus.

I don’t know what went wrong with my friend’s store or perhaps it was just a matter of careers as much as business.

But this seemingly successful store illustrates a point I’ve made over and over. Support your near-by wine shops. You don’t need to buy wine at big-box stores for $1 a bottle less. The small wine shops will educate you, inform you and make you a smarter wine consumer.

It’s a sad day when any small shop closes, even if so far away. But don’t think the Vino 100 story is unique. There are small shops in Indiana struggling to keep their doors open. Go buy some wine!

 Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com