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Lifelong Passion Leads to Wine Bar in Pound Ridge

For Alex Rubeo, general manager of Pound Ridge Wine & Spirits , a glass of wine is more than just a beverage: It’s his mantra. “Wine has a certain allure to it. It’s romantic and elegant and also has a camaraderie feel to it,” he said. "It’s not about the alcohol but more about the experience you have with it."

Rubeo’s passion for wine developed at a young age. “I grew up in a typical Italian American family where wine and food were always present,” he said. Rubeo took his fascination for wine and transformed it into a collection.

About 20 years ago, Rubeo began gathering wine from all over the world and ended with about 800 bottles. “I used all of the wine I collected and sold them when I opened my restaurant in 1999,” he said. Now, Rubeo keeps about 60 bottles of wine at his home in Brewster.

From California Cabernet to Italian Burnello, Rubeo’s selection comes from different places in the world satisfies different tastes. “I’ve traveled extensively, eating and drinking wine in most of the great wine-producing countries," he said.

Rubeo is taking his passion and opening a wine bar in July called Mariela’s, located next door to Pound Ridge Wine & Spirits. “In Italy, you’d walk into a wine bar, it was quiet, there’d be food on the table, and that the atmosphere inspired me,” he said. Mariela’s will offer 20 wines by the glass and a menu compiled of savory appetizers that focus around the array of wines.

As a wine professional, Rubeo advises that people drink their wine rather than letting it age. "Wine is meant to be enjoyed young, not locked in a closet somewhere," he said. "About 99 percent of wines you see in the store are ready to be consumed right away."

What kind of wine do you enjoy the most?

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