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Winston’s, Churchill’s cover olde towne with wines and cigars

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Business owner Alfonso Harris has doubled down on the olde towne.

Mr Harris, the long-time proprietor of Churchill’s wine and spirits store in the Town of St George, has added a second shop, Winston’s Wines, to his portfolio.

The 59-year-old said: “I own a house here too — I am definitely committed to St George.”

Winston’s, situated on the south side of York Street, sells fine wines, spirits, soft drinks and snacks — plus cigars and gifts for cigar and wine enthusiasts.

Cigars stocked by Mr Harris include Cuban and Dominican — plus locally made, hand-rolled offerings from the Bermuda Cigar Company.

Winston’s had a soft opening in the fall last year, but a trenching construction project in front of the store, a short bus strike and the lockdowns, reopenings and restrictions related to Covid-19 mean that it’s only now that the business is finding its feet.

The trenching project was impactful.

It is still continuing in St George but no longer in front of Winston’s.

Mr Harris said: “That was a little bit of a blow to us. We are still trying to recover.

“It took away parking and access, everything we bought the place for.

“We are trying to reach out and let people know that we are still here and giving it the old college try.”

He described Churchill’s as “more of a neighbourhood store”, while Winston’s Wines is “more of an upmarket tourist store”, with its focus on vintage wines, aged spirits and cigars.

At Winston’s, Mr Harris said, the concentration is “more on the wines side of it”.

If you are looking for something a little different or upmarket, he said, “go to Winston’s”.

In addition to vintages from countries traditionally associated with winemaking, the store features a line of wines from Serbia that have proved to be a hit at The Wharf, the closest restaurant to Winston’s.

The Balkan nation has a storied wine culture — vines were first planted by the Romans.

Mr Harris said: “The wines are quite popular at The Wharf, so we are trying to sell them so that people can recreate their favourite meal at home that they enjoyed at The Wharf.”

He added that Winston’s, which shares a staff of four with Churchill’s, is happy to take requests, saying: “If people want something we don’t have, let us know and we’ll try to get it for you.”

Like many business owners in Bermuda that cater to the tourist trade as well as local custom, Mr Harris is waiting for tourism to rebound.

He said: “We are trying to get the word out there so that we exist until the good times are back.

“Churchill’s has a reputation for being open all the time. We are trying to create that for Winston’s Wines as well.”

Winston’s Wines, at 8 York Street in St George, is open daily year-round from 8am until 9pm, except on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Alfonso Harris, owner of Winston’s Wines, with a bottle of Graffiti, the red blend from Serbia’s Bjelica Winery, and rum-infused cigars from the Bermuda Cigar Company
Alfonso Harris, owner of Winston’s Wines, with the popular Graffiti red blend from Serbia’s Bjelica Winery
A selection of wines at Winston’s Wines in St George
A selection of wines at Winston’s Wines in St George

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Published December 13, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 14, 2021 at 8:16 am)

Winston’s, Churchill’s cover olde towne with wines and cigars

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