‘Sparkling’ to offer bubbling beverages

MIDDLEBURY — Nancy Weber-Curth was a 15-year-old visiting student in France when she had her first taste of sparkling wine. Since then, she has been bullish on the bubbly, sampling it in later years during her frequent business travels through Europe and other distant lands.
Now Weber-Curth, a longtime Ferrisburgh resident, hopes to introduce others to the festive refreshment through her new business, aptly called “Sparkling.” Slated to open next month in the former Blossom Basket storefront at 56 College St., in Middlebury, Sparkling will seat up to 25 people and specialize in sale of sparkling wines — such as champagne, cava and prosecco — along with small plates of Vermont-sourced food, including cheeses, breads and chocolates.
“I’m very excited,” Weber-Curth said on Thursday, as she surveyed the latest interior upgrades to the space in which she will serve a wide variety of sparkling beverages by the glass and bottle. There will be no sales for carry out; customers will consume on premises, imbibing inside (including via an enclosed porch facing College Street), or in an outdoor seating area during good weather.
Weber-Curth has been looking to establish her own business for quite a while, but her travels have precluded her from taking that leap. She is a chemist and a business consultant whose travels have taken her all over the world, most recently to the Middle East.
Now that she’s back in Vermont, she’s looking to carry out her plan. While her sparkling wine offerings will come from throughout the world, she will source Vermont companies for her food offerings, contractors, and even for the wood for her business’s tables.
“I really believe that in order to improve the economy, you need to support local suppliers,” Weber-Curth said.
While Weber-Curth acknowledged she will be serving somewhat of a niche market, she is confident Middlebury-area residents and the college community will embrace the products she has to share.
“The reason I chose sparkling wine and champagne is because I love it, I think there are many people who would like to try it and learn about it,” Weber-Curth said. “You don’t need to be an expert if you come in here to try; you can just come in here and learn all kinds of new things about champagne and/or sparkling wine.”
She noted that champagne is a sparkling wine, but is able to exclusively bear the name “champagne” because it is made in a specific region of France. Weber-Curth plans to stock sparkling wines from many countries, including Spain, Germany, Austria and South Africa. She continues to make scouting trips abroad to bolster her stock.
She plans to have a rotation of five wines each day to serve by the glass, and around 24 bottles to offer. Prices per glass will likely range from $5 to around $13. Prices per bottle will vary, with many affordable varieties, she said.
Weber-Curth hopes to appeal to a wide demographic in the Middlebury area. She is also looking forward to visits from the college community, during special events (such as the upcoming graduation weekend) and during the summer with the language school.
Weber-Curth is targeting a late-May opening. Once open, her hours will be 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent

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