Mid City’s newest storefront, 3Tails Wine and Cheese, aims to bring local wine and cheese lovers something they’ve never seen before.
Owner Scott Higgins describes 3Tails as a “boutique wine shop” and is hosting its grand opening in mixed-use development Square46 on Saturday.
“It’s an advantage we have over some of our competitors,” says Higgins, who also opened White Star Market’s Mouton and The Rutledge in White Star Market across the breezeway. “Our knowledge, our willingness, and truly, our want to help people navigate this insane world.”
Higgins is no stranger to artisan wines. A certified sommelier and former private chef, the entrepreneur does extensive research on vendors to locate wines not yet in the local market, often sourcing from small-production farmers.
The majority of 3Tails’ selection is not available anywhere else in Baton Rouge, according to Higgins.
“I really like championing the small guy,” he says. “That’s who I like to deal with, that’s who I find interesting.”
Higgins says working with independent winemakers means drops aren’t always consistent; for instance, a certain wine could be produced just three times a year. Therefore, the store’s product will be fluidwith a focus on bringing different styles of wine to the area. stock depends on the season; a bottle bought in December may not be stocked in July.
Higgins takes an unconventional approach to organizing the store’s wines, displaying them by weight, or body, rather than by region or variety. Wines are grouped together for reference points, so guests can spot a type they’re familiar with, such as chardonnay or pinot noir.
The shop’s selection is “100 percent sustainable agriculture,” termed “honest wine” by Higgins.
In his nearly yearlong planning process for the store, Higgins decided on a custom design that would make customers feel comfortable. He decided to forego the usual wine racks or cluttered aisles for a sleek, open floor plan; rather than perusing the bottom shelf, as you would typically do in a store, everything in 3Tails is elevated.
The shop has a bright, modern feel, with warm, wooden tones, slate-grey floors and small touches throughout, like the absence of “shelf talkers.” The cost of each wine is handwritten on the front of every bottle to make it easier for customers to shop within their price range.
The shop also stocks artisan cheeses and charcuterie that is cut-to-order, as well as gifts from local makers. Cheese is bought only by the whole wheel, often from small-batch farmers, while nearly all of the charcuterie is American-made.
Higgins is clear that the staff at 3Tails is there to help from the moment you walk in the door, from making recommendations to suggesting cheese and meat pairings.
“It’s about you, and finding an amazing bottle for you,” Higgins says. “That’s our job – to make you feel comfortable.”
At the end of the day, Higgins’ goal is to replace the notion that wine is too lofty or complex and is instead accessible and enjoyable.
The shop’s grand opening June 29 will feature wine tastings every two hours, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Normal store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.