People often ask me the origin of our frog logo. "Jeremiah" was inspired by the Three Dog Night classic "Joy to the World":
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
Never understood a single word he said
But I helped him drink his wine
Yes he always had some mighty fine wine...
In December of 1986 my father, Earl Pagliaro, purchased the building at 1206 North Union Street which was the site of Wilmington's first and longest existing bowling alley in the city. The original "Parkway Bowling Alley" lanes are still visable in the beer room and stock area of my shop. The gutters have been filled in with poured concrete, the gloss has long faded since the days that my grandfather, Alfredo Pannaccione, bowled these lanes winning many trophies in top regional tournaments.
In March of 1987 after 3 semesters of arduous work preparing for my future, I took a leave of absence from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. My parents asked me if I wanted to take off a semester to experience what the retail business was like. I figured if it wasn't for me I could always return to St. Joe's in September and continue with my degree. Do I really want to follow in my father's footsteps? Well, that was many years ago! My college buddies presented me with their own version of a diploma stating that I successfully graduated with the knowledge of "moderate consumption of alcohol" or MCA with a doctorate in "gravity", A.K.A. beer funnels. And to think it only took me a year and a half to find out how lucrative the liquor industry could be... guess college can do that to you... great work-study program! I actually got one more great asset from my beloved alma mater... my darling wife and business partner, Nina!
Since that time my palate has significantly developed and has become more educated steering clear of those 16 oz. Blatz Beer days at a mere $6.95 per case! After a crash course in business management during the Spring and Summer of 1987 taught to me by my toughest teacher and mentor, my own father, I attended my first wine tasting. I immediately was fascinated with wine. I wanted to learn everything I could about it. I wanted to meet every winemaker. I wanted to read every book written about it. I couldn't wait to speak fluently with my fellow collegues and customers. I lived and breathed the subject of wine... and I wasn't even old enough to legally taste!
In 1993 my parents, Wilma and Earl, decided to let go the reigns of the business. They realized my passion and dedication for the business and wine industry was sincere and inescapable. Nina and I purchased the building and business from my parents in December of 1993.
Nina has continued in the daily office management and accounting aspect of the business while I manage our dedicated staff of 3 full time wine consultants and 9 part time wine enthusiasts who all play a part in my wine buying as well as marketing the business. Myself and our unpretentious, colorful staff can often be found at our tasting bar sampling new releases or new possible placements to our ever-expanding wine inventory.
In August of 1995 Frank's Union Wine Mart was on the cutting edge of the liquor industry becoming the first wine merchant on the East coast to build a walk-in cigar humidor inside a wine shop. This addition has far exceeded my goals and expectations both in sales and popularity. Aside from my monthly wine dinners which I host featuring wine importers and wine makers, I now have at least 3 cigar and wine dinners a year. Much to my surprise as many women as men attend these fun-filled evenings! "(Note: In 2003 I switched off the humidor for good as a result of the diminishing fad of women puffing away, and Govenor Ruth Ann Minner signing the indoor smoking ban in Delaware. In early 2004 I'll introduce the addition of "Frank's @Home Wine Sellers"....a full service Home Wine Cellar consulting and constructing partnership with IWA Catalogue. I'll be converting the cigar humidor into an 11-foot by 22-foot walk-in, temperature-controlled wine cellar to house my high-end wines. This will be the showroom showpiece for what can be designed in private homes!")
Started the FranksWine.com Marathon Team bringing together runners and wine drinkers to train for a yearly Marathon and raise funds for Children's charities. Raised a total of $4,085 for Team for Kids while training for the 2008 NYC Marathon; $23,571.20 for St Jude Children's Research Hospital while training for 2009 Marine Corps Marathon; $14,790.60 for Johns Hopkins Children's Center while training for the 2010 Baltimore Marathon; chosen charity for the October 2011 Twin Cities Marathon is The Children's Tumor Foundation.
Frank joins former rival Jonathan Newman, - former Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board - to bring back his stellar Chairman Selections and offer them to Tri-state area wine lovers! Introduction of "Frank's Xchairman Selections" brings upon a lawsuit from the PLCB forcing Frank's Union Wine Mart to change the name to "Frank's Xselections"... read article.
In celebration of our 25th year in business we finally moved our offices and did some needed remodeling.
After 25 years of working in a crummy, drafty, windowless office we've finally imploded that sucka! Over the last few months you've seen some changes at the shop, and there's more to come. Upon entering you'll notice a huge opening to your left which is where our offices and receiving/warehousing were located... that new room houses our CLUBVino Tasting Area, MORE Xselections, our 33% Off End of Bin WALL and our $99 Mystery Cases!
And yes - sad to say - the dark purple paint with yellow splatters in the r/w room is now only a memory. To bring back the original heritage of the building we were able to REVIVE several of the 65 year old bowling alley lanes of the Parkway Bowling Alley where my Grandfather Alfredo Panaccione spent much of his spare time. They're absolutely beautiful!
Throughout each month our CLUBVino Tasting Area (above) will feature the current Frank's Wine of the Month selection/s... and they'll be available for tasting everyday! As always the selections may be purchased at a 25% Discount anytime during the month if you're a CLUBVino member. Click here to purchase a Wine of the Month Club Membership for you or a friend - A great gift that can start any day of any month!
We've got NEW Xselections from top producers around the world at these Discounts:
20% Off by the Bottle
33% Off any 6 Bottles
50% Off any 12 Bottles!
Frank's Xselections started back in 2008 when I teamed up with former Chairman of the PLBC - Jonathan Newman. While we still feature Newman's great finds we've also expanded our Xselections to include other stellar wines that you know and love... like these (net prices after 50% Discount):
This is our 66% Off End of Bin WALL... pretty much everything that we're ready to dump ends up here!! It could be that 2010 Provence Rose that may be a bit tired and needs to be drunk soon; or the last bottle or two of the 2005 Napa Cabernet that's taking up shelf space where we want to put a new selection; or that great Super Tuscan with a torn or stained label. They are ALL absolutely more than just "drinkable!" Great deals on this WALL are added weekly if not daily.
Ahhh... Frank's Mystery Cases?... you are going to love these as much as I love putting them together!! Your choice of All White, All Red or Mixed Red & White... they include End of Bin, Last of Vintage, Xselections, Forgotten Gems and ALWAYS a surprise or two that'll make you shake your head and say, "Damn! How can Frank do this for only 99 bucks?" It's a mystery...
Fun-filled is the best hyphenated word which describes the wine industry!... and the people make it that way. History is still in the making here at Frank's Union Wine Mart, and I'm sure it will continue to be just as fun-filled as it is now. I'll make sure to keep it that way!
Frank DiSipio Pagliaro