In Good Taste Wine and Spirits has made a big move: from its location of 15 years in the New Paltz Post Office Plaza, 300 feet away to 27 Main Street, a beautifully renovated brick building overlooking the Shawangunk Mountains.
There is a large spalted maple countertop that is the centerpiece of the new location, with some birdseye maple blended in, as well as recycled glass tiles that reflect the light underneath the countertop. Overhead is a vine-shaped stainless steel chandelier that makes the wine bottles dance with color, and a large, arch-shaped window that looks over the flats to the ridgeline. No one is happier and more at home in this new store than its owner, Deb Rauch.
Rauch has helped to organize dozens of community benefits to help Family of New Paltz, victims of Hurricane Irene and a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Village of New Paltz, to name only a few.
Where are you from originally?
Although she grew up in Miami Beach, FL, Rauch was actually born in a hospital in Monticello, where her parents worked at a hotel during the summer months. Ironically, 25 years later, when she met her husband, Rick Rauch — owner of the Gilded Otter Restaurant and Brewery, a stone’s throw away from the wine store — she found out that he had been born in the same hospital. “He grew up in Monticello, and it was just wild that we both were born in the same hospital and then met all those years later. Destiny?”
What makes New Paltz unique?
Rauch paused and made a gesture towards the large group of customers all chatting and laughing in the store before the blizzard hit. Instead of giving a list of adjectives to describe the uniqueness of New Paltz, Rauch provided an anecdote. “When we were set to move — which had to be done in one day, because of the SLA [State Liquor Authority] rules — so many people asked if they could help.”
This was not lip service as Rauch explained how Pete Taliaferro — owner of the Taliaferro Community-Supported Agriculture farm off Plains Road — and his crew boxed up and used handcarts to haul the wine and liquor bottles from the old location to the new. “Ray Bradley’s farm came with a smoker and cooked turkey and sausage and food all day to feed the volunteers that were helping us move! [Downtown Business Association head] Julie Robbins and her husband and son were here at 7 a.m. and worked their tails off until 3 p.m., putting all of the wine bottles into our racks and wall holes.” There were another “two dozen people who helped schlep the stuff all day. It was a community of people that turned out to help a local business: That’s what makes this town so special and so unique. We are truly a community.”
What is your favorite hangout?
“My wine store!” she said.
Tell us something we never would have guessed about you.
One thing that she believed that people would never have guessed about her is “how well I managed through this move. I’m a control freak, but I listened! I listened to my designer, my builder, my employees — not that I always agreed, but I did take many of their suggestions, and I kept it together. I have four employees to take care of, a business to run, a huge move and renovation — and then I have to go home and be a Mom. Was it stressful? Absolutely, but I did it!”