A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to Cambridge, MD to browse the city with the intention of writing an article on the various shops downtown. But, when we walked into The Wine Bar, owner, Randy Decker blew us away and was so excited to show us around his shop, that we quickly decided that he needed an entire article to himself.

Randy, and his business partner Ed, had only been operating The Wine Bar for about two months when we stopped in but you would have thought they’d been refining the business for years. Randy is originally from Vermont and he is actually a science teacher by trade; he just recently began moonlighting as a wine shop owner when the pair won a contest for startups on the Eastern Shore. The pair ranked among the top 5 entries out of 33 in the program and they were astonished to find out they had won. They found The Wine Shop business for sale and everything came together in just 10 days!

The Wine Bar offers their guests wine by the glass or bottle, and they recently received their license to carry a full selection of liquors and local craft beers. Patrons can build their own cheese board or select from a list of pre-made cheese and charcuterie boards with carefully selected ingredients to pair well with each other. Our favorite part? The confectionery counter full of fresh fudge, truffles, and chocolates. One of the chocolatier’s they carry is Sweet Cascades out of Ellicott City. Randy was unfortunately on the phone with the owner as the flood waters came rushing into their facility a few weeks ago. Sweet Cascades has high hopes, however, and they aren’t letting the water dampen their spirits (see what we did there?).

Randy explained that he tries to carry as many local products as possible but when it comes to fine wines and cheeses he “doesn’t discriminate,” though he does carry wines from the Layton’s Chance Vineyard in Vienna, MD. The walls of the entrance were lined with jams, jellies, spreads, and ciders – all made right here on the Eastern Shore. Many of the jams and spreads come with cute little cards that show how to pair the spread with your favorite cheeses and snacks – making the ultimate cheese plate easy to prepare for the cheese-pairing novice. Tables in the front of the shop were decorated with adorable crab-shaped cheese boards and ceramic serving platters made by the Providence Center – an organization that teaches skills to adults with developmental disabilities. Other shelves contained beautiful stemware and tableware made by an artisan out of Annapolis.

Randy’s vision for The Wine Bar is for guests to come in and grab a quick glass of wine and a snack while they wait for their table at a nearby restaurant. Then, when offered dessert, they can politely decline and return to The Wine Bar for fantastic truffles and a night cap. You know what, just skip dinner altogether, charcuterie counts as a food group, right? Make sure to check out The Wine Bar’s website http://winebarcambridge.com/ for a closer look at their menu.