Reds Wine Boutique owner draws inspiration from rescue dog
A new wine business in Sterling proves the saying, “You have to taste it to appreciate it.” Reds Wine Boutique at 112 S. Third Ave. officially opened July 27, but owner Cindy Graham has been silently perfecting her homemade wines for some time.
“I had always thought about opening a business, but I am my own worst critic. I didn’t think my wines were good enough. My daughters and friends always told me that it was excellent but I didn’t listen to them,” Graham said.
It took a push from friends to enter the Hobby Wine and Home Brew contest at last year’s Logan County Fair to steer the wine enthusiast in the right direction. Armed with homemade wine in bottles dressed in taped on labels, Graham not only entered the contest, she won the Judges choice, the people’s choice and Grand Champion.
“That was kind of an epiphany moment and I started tossing around the idea of selling my wine then,” Graham said.
However, it took another four months for the former corrections officer to pursue her dream in earnest. She credits Laurie Jones, East Colorado Small Business Development Center, for helping to move things forward.
“Laurie was just huge in the process,” said Graham, who confessed to her ignorance when it came to starting a business. Her inspiration for the business name, a cute long-hair, red Dachshund named Red, was just the beginning.
“Red is my ‘naughty red dog’ who tries to drink my wine every chance she gets,” laughed Graham. The mischievous rescue dog is featured on a number of wine bottle labels.