A passion for wine that saw him learn in some of the most prestigious wine regions has led to a new wine bar in Bury St Edmunds.
Ryan Smith has opened The Petrus Wine Bar at the site of the former Chocolate Bar on the corner of Whiting Street and Churchgate Street.
“I’m very passionate about wine,” said Ryan, 31. “I’ve been interested in wine since I was about 23 and I ended up going to Bordeaux, going around the chateux trying to find a job.”
He worked there for a couple of summers before moving on to Burgundy and other wine regions in France as well as La Rioja in Spain.
“It was a fantastic experience and it is something I wanted to bring back to the UK,” Ryan said.
Ryan has opted for a simple traditional wine bar rather than the trashy sterotypical yuppy wine bar associated with the 1980s.
The bar is due to open by the end of the week and will serve cheeses hams and bread to accompany the wine.
It will also sell bottles to take away while Ryan is planning to sell coffee and croisants in the morning and mediteranian lunches.
Ryan plans to allow customers to taste a selection of wines before they buy to find out what style they like.
“What we are about is helping people understand wine,” he said.
He will also stock top of the range wines and would like to stock a bottle of Petrus – after which the wine bar is named, although at £1,500 to £2,000 a bottle he admits he would be scared of dropping it.
Petrus opened this week and will be holding events with the Chamber of Commerce and local residents over the next few weeks.