Hidden Gems of CLT: Vin Master

Watch a new episode of Hidden Gems of Charlotte with Alexandra Elich each Thursday on WCCB News Rising.

CHARLOTTE, NC — What are you missing in your favorite neighborhood? WCCB Charlotte’s Alexandra Elich explores tucked away spots, historic businesses, and secret gardens in the middle of our bustling city.

On this week’s Hidden Gems of Charlotte, Alex visits Vin Master.

When you think about a wine connoisseur what words come to mind? snobby? intimidating? What if we told you there’s a place right in the heart of the queen city, a place where wine is friendly & informal.  Welcome to Vin Master.

Rochelle Baxter is the owner of Vin Master. A wine bar with an affordable price point selling mostly natural, organic and family owned wines. The spot isn’t the easiest to find at Atherton Mills in south end.

“We get so many phone calls every day of people like I’m trying to get there but I can’t find you. So we’re talked a little bit back in the shopping center behind Luna‘s living kitchen,” says Baxter.

Vin Master opened in 2011, originally a retail wine store. Baxter took over four years ago. She worked in the restaurant industry her entire career and used to have a small grocery shop in the old Atherton market. That’s when she was introduced to the previous owner.

“It was definitely scary but I feel like I took the right steps. Started really small, having a training, working in different jobs within the industry,” says Baxter.

With her culinary background it only made sense to add food! She added a small kitchen in September working tirelessly to create a menu.

“Our cheese and charcuterie board we feature in an array of really nice specialty imported cheeses also featuring a local mustard spread from Chef Alyssa here in Charlotte,” says Baxter.  Alex: I love how you incorporate local businesses and all of your dishes that’s so cool.
Why is that so important to you?  Rochelle says, “It’s been a big influence for me since I was in the industry and especially with my previous business, local grocery and pantry, I just made so many connections and I want to continue to support those people.”

Whether you’re in the mood for some good food, a homey pour, or even a local craft beer. Baxter says their most effective marketing tool: word of mouth.

Baxter says they plan to introduce a small brunch later this year. They also work with local farmers to get their ingredients.

For more information on Vin Master click HERE.