Walking in the door of PH Wine Merchant is like stepping into an wine oasis. The new store in Peachtree Hills is warm, welcoming and definitely different from your run of the mill bottle shop. Owned by Anthony Yambor and Patrick Shippley, it is a partnership based on helping customers discover a wine they will enjoy, instead of simply presenting them with a wine they “should” or are “supposed to” enjoy. Their belief that each person should select wine according to their own preferences is a refreshing change in an industry filled with so-called “experts”. The impetus behind the store was dinner, a great bottle of wine and discussion on business ideas and goals. Anthony discovered his passion for wine while working in the restaurant business. After implementing a wine training program for staff and building wine lists for a set of restaurants, he left that industry with a renewed focus. His desire to work one-on-one with enthusiasts led him to the retail wine business. With several years of experience under his belt, Anthony set out to start something new and different in wine retail with Patrick. The range of wines in the store by region and price is extensive. From the most expensive bottle, a $700 Lucien Le Moine Richebourg 2008 to a $6 bottle of Vina Borgia Grenache from Spain, it’s not difficult to find a bottle to suit your taste. If you need help learning about wine, PH Wine Merchant has an educational director on staff. Maggie Meroney’s wide range of knowledge makes her classes interesting and enjoyable. Anthony’s enthusiasm for wine is contagious. During a recent visit, I asked him to choose a bottle he would take home for a weeknight dinner. He choose a bottle of 2008 Joseph Voillot Bourgogne Rouge Vielles Vignes, a fine match for a rosemary-scented chicken breast. Here’s a simple and easy recipe inspired by his delicious choice of wine. Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken ¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice Zest of 2 Lemons 1 Clove Garlic, Grated 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper 1 TB Minced Fresh Rosemary ½ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in half vertically Step One Combine all the ingredients to create a marinade. Reserve ½ of the marinade and place the rest in a plastic zippy bag, add the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Step Two Remove the chicken from the marinade, pat dry, and cook on a preheated grill or grill pan, basting frequently with the reserved marinade. Grill until golden brown.

This article was originally posted in the Buckhead Patch on 2/08/11 at http://bit.ly/eMCqDe

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