I enjoy tasting and drinking wine. I was not a fan of wine, just 8 years ago, but, over the years, have learned to appreciate the complexities of different wines. I used to say I’m a “wine-for-dummies” wine drinker, but I have surpassed that to the next stage: I am beginning to know what I like but am still not a snob. That’s why I enjoy going to the Wine Loft on 401 Columbia Street NW in Downtown Olympia.

Wine Loft Owner, Justin Wilkes

New owner Justin Wilkes is very knowledgeable about his inventory and seeks to educate customers to find a perfect match between wine drinker and wine. Oregon born and raised, he moved up to Washington to learn from one of the master sommeliers. When the opportunity came up, he acquired the little wine shop.

Going into the little 30’x40’ brick building is like walking into an adult candy shop full of wines and spirits. Thought small, he has a nice selection of wines that may or may not be found in big box stores. He greets you and genuinely cares about what your palate desires, what your price point is and what you have an affinity for…then offers you something you may not have tried before. His occasional wine tastings are a must-do on a Saturday afternoon. On a recent visit to the Labor Day Saturday tasting, my friend and I met someone I knew, which is generally the standard for a neat community venue of like kind.

I recommend that part of your Downtown Olympia tour should include (or just make it a point to go) a stop at the Wine Loft. You will be treated like you’re important and not an ignoramus.