When it comes to wine, home brewing is becoming a big business.
The Wine Maker’s Toy Store in Carrolton is the perfect place to pop the cork on the popular hobby.
But this business did more than just improve owner George Cornelius' life -- it saved it.
“I had a heart attack almost 10 years ago and my doctor suggested that I drink one or two glasses of red wine a night,” said Cornelius.
In addition to questions about wine, many ask for his doctor’s name.
Cornelius wasn’t one to disagree with the professional. So, he started drinking with his wife and spending between $400-$500 a month.
“We were getting a lot of wines that I wasn’t happy with. Just didn’t have the taste that I wanted and so I was tired of spending 15 dollars and getting home and not liking the wine. So, I started searching and seeing if I could find good buys for the wines I like to drink on the Internet. At that time you couldn’t have wine shipped to Texas. Somehow, I stumbled into home wine making,” said Cornelius.
After the initial uncorking, you’d assume Cornelius was in better health.
“Then I had a second heart attack and they said you’ve got to get out of corporate America completely. So, I resigned from corporate America and spent the next 7 years building this store,” said Cornelius.
Cornelius hasn’t had any major health problems since.
“It’s an interesting story,” said Cornelius.
So is the store that caters to the budding hobbyist all the way to those who want to be the best.
All kits sold at the shop make multiple bottles. Beginner kits make a bottle that is the same quality as what you can find in a grocery store. Think an $8 to $10 bottle.
Advanced kits will get you a quality more like a $20 to $30 bottle.
The store also sells presses that will help you smash grapes in bulk as well as tubes, corks, bottles and everything you need to make your home creation look like a special professional creation.
The staff brews its own wine in the store to become more knowledgeable about the kits they sell.
“It’s a very addictive hobby and I’m not talking about the drinking, I’m talking about the making of it, because it is very rewarding,” said Cornelius.
Don't expect to find ready-made brews for the purchase -- the store can’t sell what it makes because it’s not a winery.
The staff has made more than 300 batches. That’s 1800 gallons or 9000 bottles that’s helped them make both the curious and serious happy.
“We hear so many customers come back and saying I can’t believe how good the wine is and I can’t believe that our friends tell us they can’t believe we made it,” said Cornelius.
Wine Maker’s Toy Store
Fine Vine Wines, LLC
1300 N. Interstate 35E #106