JOHNNY & CORINA MORENO OPEN UP ABOUT THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO THIS LOCAL WINE TASTING ROOM
Johnny Moreno, and his wife Corina, have been Wine Club members at Water 2 Wine South Austin for five years. They visit the store regularly, attend almost every Wine Club event, and can tell you about all the change they’ve seen pass through South Austin. However, one thing they highlight is that what hasn’t changed, the quality of the wine here at this custom wine shop.
I get to speak with them on a bustling Tuesday evening. Both grew up in the area and could serve as witnesses to tons of Austin change and through all this change, one thing has stayed constant, their admiration, love and commitment to Water 2 Wine. Our interview quickly transformed into a fun conversation with lots of laughing, wine tasting and sharing of stories. Right as we finished our chat, two of their Wine Club friends, Felicia & Auggie Cancino walked in. The laughter and wine discussion gets even a little more rosé and the coupon clipping begins. Felicia and Corina met at Water 2 Wine and have been close ever since.
The opinions of the Moreno’s are valued dearly and their presence is looked forward to every week as it contributes strongly to the classy, unique, and warm environment that has been growing over the past 7 years.
We start chatting about what they’re drinking. Johnny has selected the Cab-Cabernet Franc (a medium bodied French red wine) and Corina has the Liebfraumlich (a semi-sweet white German wine).
This proved to be a perfect starter topic because it led us to an in depth conversation about the kind of lifestyle that is created by maintaining a long term relationship with the winery. Johnny enjoys getting to taste young wines, and then again and again as they open up and age through the weeks. He comes in every week so every week he tastes them, and enjoys “maturing with the wine” as he says with a smile. He can taste it as it grows in flavor and boldness.
Corina is more of a white wine person, but on occasion she will try the Petite Shiraz. They laugh and nod heads as they agree it’s easy to choose wine, because they never fight over it. They also take turns purchasing small custom batches.
They graciously share a few moments of their time to answer my questions:
“About 5 years, ever since Jeff and Terry. We were close with the original owners, also with Tom and now Leteshia. The first night we came in was our 20th wedding anniversary 7 years ago.”
How often do you come in?
“At least twice a week, sometimes 3….4 times if she has to go to Hobby Lobby.” Johnny nudges Corina and we all laugh. We laugh because it’s funny, and also true.
What are some fun or funny memories here?
“Definitely all of the events, like the Murder Mystery, the White Elephant Gift Exchange during Christmas, and the Cook-Off’s. We love all the events here... After a glass of wine everyone opens up-”, and Corina finishes his thought, “...everyone spills their guts”
Why Water 2 Wine?
“We’ve been to several wineries around and the owners here at Water 2 Wine have been the most friendly. They’ve walked us through the wine experience and there’s been no judgement. When we were newbies they welcomed us, helped us enjoy a very educational experience and taught us how to taste.
“There is no pretentious vibe. They don’t correct you on how to pronounce things. In fact, the first time we came into the store, the owner at the time, one of the first things he said was, “you can call it whatever you want, as long as you pay for it”. We’re actually still friends with Jeff and meet up with him once in awhile. There is also no pressure or pushing to buy.
“Above all, the best part is that the wines stay consistent. Sure, there are changes in the formula of the grapes, but the winemaker here, Chris, he knows how to roll with it, and the quality never waivers. You can always get the same quality bottle of wine at Water 2 Wine. You know what to expect.
“Also, the price is better than a lot of other chain stores.”
Tell me about the Wine Club Limited Release Party, that was held on Saturday, 04/23. How was that?
“It was really fun!
“We tasted the Toro, Toro, Toro, Terrior Trio, Vino Blanco, Mosaic Red and Cab-Cabernet Franc. I really liked the Mosaic Red, so much in fact, that I went home with a batch of it.
“I tasted it at the party, discovered a young taste with potential, purchased a batch and it’s been really fun to be a part of its aging process. Every time I taste it and try it at home, it’s a little more mature and the quality just keeps getting better and better. It was good at the release party, but even 2 weeks later, after the party, it was somehow richer and fuller."
What do you look for in a wine?
“Can I taste the acidity (or the oak)? What is the prominent feeling or flavor of the wine? I also really enjoy tasting the wines in their before and after state. I come in so often that I can taste a young wine and then in a week or so I’ll come in again and taste the same wine and it’s personality can be quite a bit different, more mature. “
What is the best thing about the Wine Club?
“Wine Club members can cook! We love all the events and parties that are hosted just for Wine Club. There is the Chili Cook Off, the Holiday Party, the Soup Challenge and one-off events all the time.”
“It’s the consistency of the wine, really. Also, as we said before, the events. The price is also really hard to beat. We are in the top tier of the Wine Club membership, Platinum Plus. That is awesome for many reasons, and one of them is the Italian SP Amarone comes out better priced when you’re in the top tier”. We all laugh because we know the reputation of the SP Amarone.
“Also, we have formed many wonderful relationships through our experience with Wine Club. There are lots of really good people that frequent Water 2 Wine and are in the Wine Club.”
Have you all ever done the make your own wine experience?
“Yes, we have. Although once was enough. It was a good experience, and we learned a lot. However, we have hosted many bottling parties. The bottling parties are so fun and they work for any occasion like birthdays, anniversaries, or really just a Tuesday. You can bring in food, it’s fun, and it’s a good way to entertain without having to do too much, [he laughs quite a bit and looks over at Chris], the staff takes really good care of you and your guests.”
We have one final cheers and I leave them be. What a great group!
As more Wine Club members and Tuesday regulars enter the store the Moreno’s are lured away by conversation and more wines to try, and bottles to buy. I feel happy getting to learn the inner details of the clientele here in this adorable wine tasting room. I also feel closer to them. Getting a chance to speak so intimately with them was a good opportunity to really understand what makes this place so great from the customer side - the people are amazing and the wine is impeccable (which I already knew ;-) ). They are down to earth, easy-going, fun and light hearted folks who love having this wine tasting oasis.
We hope you enjoy a personal and customized wine tasting experience with us soon!
Business Hours are Tuesday - Friday, 12-8 and Saturday 12-7.