When Jim Short had to begin a waiting list for his Wednesday events at Fine Wine and Tastings on Main Street, he wondered what could be done.
Short, who owns the Lakewood Ranch business with his son, Scott, came up with an idea.
“Well, our store is right next to Integrity Sound, and we’re pretty good friends with them,” Short said. “I wanted to help them out. We get so many people here on Wednesdays that we don’t even know what to do with them. We can only fit 50 people in the store at a time.”
Jim Short asked Integrity Sound manager, Joey Carter, if he would like to be involved in a "wine walk." Then he approached the Wish boutique, and Naples Soap Company, and the J&J Gallery.
They all agreed, and the first Wine Walk Wednesday, scheduled for July 25, was born.
The event, which runs from 5:30-8 p.m. will offer more than 20 wines for tasting, with each stop featuring five or more wines. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
Jim Short said the featured wines typically run $10 to $25 per bottle and other Lakewood Main Street businesses will be participating even if they aren't an official wine stop.
He noted Healthy Living Organic and Natural Market, as an example, will offer smoothie samples. Lakewood Ranch Cinemas will serve cheese and crackers.
J&J Gallery owner Jennifer Perry said the event just made sense.
“Fine wine and fine art go hand-in-hand,” Perry said. “We’re excited to get people in (the gallery).”
Naples Soap Company is the only official stop on the walk that won't offer wine samples indoors.
"The smell of the soap will mess with the taste of the wine, so they’re still involved but the wine has to be poured outside of the shop,” Jim Short said.
Carter said he's hoping the walk will bring in customers his store normally wouldn't reach.
"We normally don't get couples in here, it's usually just guys shopping," Carter said. "A lot of people don't know about us. We are offering to go to people's houses for free to help them design their sound and entertainment system. We might get more people to know about that through the wine walk."