Norfolk NE Wine
Life is a Celebration!
And what better way to celebrate than with a fine bottle of wine!
A decade ago, Jim Rutten decided to help people find the perfect wine for every occasion. And it's been his passion ever since. Come see us and you won't just get a special bottle of wine, you'll get an education!
Jim’s Fine Wine is a friendly place to try some wine, learn a little bit, and share in one of life's great pleasures.
This Week's Coupon:
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Sean Minor...Sauvignon Blanc...$13.99
Kings Ridge...Pinot Gris...$12.99
A to Z...Pinot Gris...$13.99
Poggio...Moscato or Sweet Red..$14.99
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2001 Market Lane #200
Norfolk, NE 68701
Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
We're in the Wetzel & Truex Building.
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Wine tastings move to virtual setting
Social distance guidelines won’t stand in the way of Jim Rutten’s ability to engage with customers of his business.
As soon as the nation began hunkering down to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in March, the owner and staff members at Jim’s Fine Wine & More — located at 2001 Market Lane, Suite 200, in Norfolk — began thinking of ways to protect themselves and their customers while carrying on business as usual.
“Our staff and our family was kind of concerned about me being exposed to a lot of people, and they thought we should do something different,” Rutten said.
The business began offering curbside pickup almost immediately at the end of March. Customers could call in to place their wine order for Rutten to put together, and then customers could drive up to the front of the store to pick it up.
But social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention also meant the store would have to stop its twice-monthly wine-tasting events, which had long served as a way to for Rutten to connect with his business’ customers and share his love and knowledge of wine.
Rutten said two of his staff members who have experience using the Zoom platform — which allows groups to meet in a virtual setting online — set up the business to host virtual wine tastings.
“They said, ‘Let’s do Zoom for virtual wine tasting,’ ” Rutten said. “We had a short meeting and got everything together. It fell into place.”
The virtual tastings begin with Jim's Fine Wine & More posting on its email blasts and social media sites what wines it intends to feature in advance.
That allows the customers enough time to come to the store and pick up bottles of the featured wines, so they may participate in the tasting. Customers are also given the log-in number for the Zoom gathering where the wine tasting will occur.
The first virtual wine tasting took place March 26, and more than 30 people took part in the event, Rutten said.
“I always do a winery of the month, and March was our Washington state wines,” Rutten said. “To tie into that, I picked two Washington wines.”
During the presentation, Rutten talks about the landscape and region from which the wines come, and customers can get a better idea of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the wines, he said.
“They know where the wines are coming from, what area, the soil makeup and everything,” he said.
Rutten said the virtual tastings differ slightly from the in-store wine-tasting events, which are more like an open house.
“People drift in, and I have to repeat for every person,” Rutten said of the in-store tastings. “That’s the part I like about the virtual tasting: You can explain a little more without having to repeat because everybody started at the same time.”
Rutten compared the virtual tastings to the in-home tastings he has done in the past because they allow him to offer more of an educational wine presentation.
The next virtual wine tasting is set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16.
Rutten said he’s considering continuing the virtual testing when the threat of the virus has diminished and business returns to normal. The virtual testings allow him to reach an audience beyond Northeast Nebraska.
But any virtual wine testing after COVID-19 will take place on a different night than the in-store events, which Rutten said he looks forward to resuming.
“I enjoy talking about wine,” he said.