GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Do you like wine? How about exclusive wines paired with your favorite pastas, meats, cheeses and more?! Well we have the perfect place for you! This week, we took a trip to Acqua in Vino, the specialty food and wine store homed in Wayland, just a short trip South of Grand Rapids. With a beautiful tour and a delicious food and wine tasting, Acqua in Vino was a hit. It is a must-see, must-visit, must-return for West Michigan.
On our trip to Acqua in Vino, we learned a lot about food, wine, and Italy from store owner (and wine expert) Arnaldo “Arny” Rodriguez. Since we loved our experience so much, we wanted to share all the knowledge. Check it out.
Arny’s passion for quality cheeses and wines began back in Italy. His family always shared meals around the table with bread, cheese, and wine, and he wanted to share that experience with others. Out of this desire, he opened Acqua in Vino, selling wine, sharing specialty foods, and teaching others about developing their palette, while also learning himself.
“Acqua in Vino” means “Water into Wine.” Arny’s family had a red boat. When they launched the boat into the lake for the first time, they noticed the crystal clear water that surrounded the boat beginning to turn red. The reflection was so convincing, it looked as if the boat was lined with wine, sparking “Water into Wine.” With the Biblical meaning offering a sense of familiarity and the beautiful Italian translation, it was the perfect name for their store.
Acqua in Vino not only offers a store to buy your favorites, but also offers an experience! On Friday nights, Arny cooks right in the store, serving you a little taste of everything. He chooses three wines for the night, pairing each of those wines with an appetizer, pasta, or dessert. On any given Friday night, there are three tastings that look a little like this:
- First tasting – sweeter wine paired with wild boar, fontinella cheese, and bruschetta.
- Second tasting – Chianti wine paired with cacio e pepe (a pasta dish).
- Third tasting – third wine paired with dolce (dessert) such as gelato or chocolate.
Believe it or not, this fun, tasty night only costs $7.50 a plate. Of course, you’ll enjoy the wine and food so much, you’ll want to buy some to bring home with you, which you can! Everything that is served is available in the store to bring home and try yourself, complete with Arny’s recipe. Perfect for a date night or ladies night!
Craft beers, exclusive wines, premium meats, specialty cheeses, pastas, sauces, veggies, desserts and sweets – you name it, they have it! Aqua in Vino features many products, and we were lucky enough to check out the highlights.
- WINE – One exclusive is their full line of wines from Fenn Valley Winery. This line is only available to purchase directly from the winery and Acqua in Vino! While a trip to the winery is fun, it’s not always feasible, especially in the cold, everlasting Michigan winters.
- PASTA – The store sells jarred sauces and specialty pasta. With various brands available, we were particularly impressed with the Al Dente collection’s “Carba nada” pasta. Translation: no carbs!
- SWEETS – Another exclusive is their Dave’s Sweet Tooth product line. Three of their flavors of toffee – Vanilla Bean, Pumpkin, and Milk Chocolate Blueberry – are available only by mail order or at Acqua in Vino!
As if there wasn’t enough, Acqua in Vino has partnered with WOTV 4 to give one lucky winner two tickets to the American Idol finale in L.A.! So sit back (perhaps with a glass of wine) and watch American Idol for the code words to win on MY ABC WOTV 4 Sundays and Mondays at 8pm. To learn more or enter, click here.