Wine so good, you have to see it

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2006

It’s like a optometrist, without the crazy head contraptions. It’s like a wine cellar without the spider webs and darkness. It’s like laying on the beach without sand blowing in your eyes.

It’s Grayson’s Spectacular Vine and Hoof and it’s located in the heart of downtown Demopolis.

The store is the combination of Mike and Susan Grayson’s business ventures and has come to be more than just another store in the city.

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Twenty years ago, Susan opened Spectacular, an optical dispensary, on Highway 80.

“I used to work for an eye doctor and then he left town so, I opened Spectacular,” she said. “My husband opened Vine and Hoof two years ago and we used to own Foscue House.”

When three separate businesses became too much for the couple to handle, they combined Spectacular and Vine and Hoof to form Grayson’s Spectacular Vine and Hoof.

“The Spectacular is for the optical sales,” Grayson said, “Vine is for the wine and hoof is for the meat.”

Grayson said the store’s specialty is eyewear, a large selection of wines, imported beers, and choice cuts of meat, ranging from steak and hamburger to alligator and lamb.

“We have a large variety of wine. We have Italian, Australian, South African, and Chilean wines,” she said. “We used to have wine tastings at Foscue House but we just closed it New Year’s so we are unsure about the avenue we want to take to have them here.”

In addition to wines, eyewear and meat, Spectacular Vine and Hoof also sells greeting cards, glass wear, candles, cutting boards, spices and seasonings, anchovy stuffed olives and tanning lotion – which can be used in the store’s tanning bed.

“We have what I call a combination store. I’ve always had tanning beds, so now we have one in the back,” Grayson said. “We’re expanding more in the gift department and I say ‘if you’ve got the room, put something in it.'”

The Demopolis native is also proud of the store’s “wonderful gift baskets.”

“We can put hand-cut steaks, cheeses and whatever else you want in a gourmet basket. You can also choose a Mix 6 where you can put together up to six different kinds of beer, or you can make you own gift basket,” she said. “And we will special order whatever you want, if we don’t have it.”

Although they have no immediate plans of franchising Spectacular Vine and Hoof, the Demopolis born and bred couple has plans to keep their focus on their eclectic business.

“Like my husband says,” she giggled, “‘We repair your vision in the front and impair your vision in the back.”