Home Essex County Amanti Vino: An Award-Winning Wine Store in Montclair

Amanti Vino: An Award-Winning Wine Store in Montclair

by Diana Cooper
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Amanti Vino has been a staple of Montclair for the past 18 years. The popular wine store located at 30 Church Street in downtown Montclair is known for having wines from all over the world. What makes Amanti different from other shops is that the owner hand-selects each and every wine to ensure customers get the best quality wine at a reasonable price. But there’s more about Amanti that makes it special — aside from the friendly staff (and the owner’s two dogs) — there are events, classes, and even free wine tastings. Read on to learn more about Amanti Vino in Montclair, New Jersey.

Get to Know Amanti Vino

Amanti Vino is owned and founded by Sharon Sevrens, a sommelier who has always had a passion for wine ever since she was 22 years old. She opened Amanti’s first location at 30 Church Street in Montclair in 2005 and then opened its second location at 60A South Street in Morristown in early 2018. Sharon told The Montclair Girl that if she finds the right location, there could be a third one opening in the future.

The Ivy at Chatham

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Upon stepping into the Montclair location, the first thing one will notice is how well-organized the wine is. And the huge dancer art on the wall, inspired by a French book. A wine bottle is displayed and then bottles of that specific bottle are laid behind it in a square box. There are hundreds, almost thousands of wines, inside the store. The store is organized by regions the wine is from, including Old World, Bordeaux, Italy, Southern France, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain, and so forth.

Sharon described it as: “A lot of people organize like, ‘Here are my chardonnays, here are my pinot noirs.’ But the truth is what matters even more is where the grapes come from rather than just what the grape is, so I prefer this kind of an organization. But as I want to grow a section, for example, I went to Portugal on vacation and I came back in love with Portuguese wine. And so I made a bigger section. I have that flexibility that I can move sections around all over the place with ease.”

Sharon moved closer to Morristown three years ago and was raised in Denver. She travels many times a year to taste various wines to bring into the store. Last year, she went to Italy a couple of times, Burgundy and Champagne (French regions), and California. She’ll soon be going to Piedmont this fall.

Photo Credit: Amanti Vino Facebook

“Once a wine is on the shelf, it will stay through that vintage as long as it continues to sell well. But if I am always buying my inventory and if I taste something and decide I don’t really like it anymore, I drop it…My inventory is always changing,” Sharon told The Montclair Girl about how she keeps up-to-date with the best quality wine.

Naturally Made Wines

Amanti Vino is home to many artisanal wines that were chosen by taste alone, and not ratings. I have a huge focus on organic, biodynamic, more naturally made wines, and that’s been my philosophy for 18 years,” Sharon shared. “So very limited use of herbicides, pesticides. Right now it’s very in vogue to be organic, biodynamic, etc. We have lots of family-owned wineries from everywhere where you see green tags — it means they’re certified organic and the rest of them are almost all practically organic.”

^ Owner Sharon Sevrens with her dogs Brody + Mazy

Sharon pointed out some wines that were solely sold at Amanti Vino — wines that were named after her two black labs, Brody and Mazy, and even have their faces on the label. One is the 2020 Mocali “Brody Rosso” from Tuscany, Italy and one is the 2022 Ferrandiere “Brody Rose” from Languedoc-Roussillon, France. The owner even remarked that their private-label wines sell really well. Although there is no specific bestseller, Sharon says her staff try to sell what they love at a particular time and are super excited about.

The wine in the store is all different price points — from $10 to several thousand — and a variety of ages, with the oldest dating back to 1994. In the back of the store, there is a wine cellar that stocks the more high-end wine and wine that needs to be kept at a certain temperature. Sharon spilled, “Certainly the most expensive bottles that we’ve sold over the last year have been Romanée-Conti, which is certainly very, very expensive.”

In addition to wine, Amanti Vino has a small food section for some food to pair with wine, such as crackers, meats, cheeses, spreads, peppers, olive oil, and chocolate. There also is a section for spirits, such as whiskey, rum, tequila, gin, and vodka. Customers can also find canned wines, mini wine bottles, CBD seltzers, and non-alcoholic wines and beers.

Get Involved

Amanti Vino hosts free wine tastings every Saturday afternoon as well as other fun events and classes throughout the month. There is a private room located upstairs for special events. Coming up, on October 17th, Amanti Vino Montclair is hosting a “Fried Chicken, Champagne, + Burgundy” night at Pineapple Express to benefit Intensive Therapeutics, a non-profit in Caldwell that takes care of children with special needs.

Photo Credit: Amanti Vino Facebook

Sharon added: “We also partnered with an organization called the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and we teach their professional-level classes. So right now I have an eight-week program in my Morristown store starting in January, and I have an eight-week program here.”

What’s even more exciting is Sharon hosts trips around the world for customers to check out exclusive wineries. Sharon explained: “We stay in nice hotels and we eat really good food, but really what’s special about these trips is it’s access that you just can’t get as a consumer, especially in Burgundy. These wine producers quite simply aren’t willing to open their doors for anyone. And we go in there and hang out in the barrel room and taste with the winemakers, and it’s an incredible experience.”

Photo Credit: Amanti Vino Facebook

Amanti Vino has been nationally recognized across the country. In 2020, it was selected as one of Wine Enthusiast’s 50 Best Wine Retailers in America.  It has also received the Gold classification for its Burgundy list as part of the 2017 Wine-Searcher Best List Retailer Awards.

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Wine from Amanti is delivered all over NJ and can be shipped nationwide. For more information, visit Amanti Vino’s website found here.

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