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Gallery Wine & Art celebrates one year in Kirkland
A warm, inviting space, Gallery Wine & Art sits comfortably in the historic Masonic Building on Market Street, across from the Kirkland Art Center.
Marcke Lhyle, owner of the shop, and his significant other Laura Hackley, opened Gallery Wine & Art in February.
“You walk in and just feel it,” said Lhyle. “When you come in here you get to take a break and get lost in the world of wine. It’s a very interactive wine shop/wine bar. I love it when customers come in and don’t know what they want because then we can talk.”
Gallery Wine & Art offers a wide range of both wine and art. Lhyle has 41 distributors.
“This is the coolest wine shop I’ve ever been in,” said Ken Caplan, a Kirkland resident and customer. “Marcke is a very friendly owner — not your typical snobby wine store.”
In this business, Lhyle said, he tastes wine all the time with a very open mind. “Wine is always an education, I’m always learning,” Lhyle said. “I’m growing every month in terms of my quantity, and every wine has a reason for being in here.
“I’ve tasted each wine. It may not be my favorite, but it’s great with food, or maybe it got a great score or is a good price, and I know people love this wine,” he continued. “Wine should be about discovery, and then adding the artwork gives it a seductive aspect.”
The gallery’s artworks range from oil and watercolor paintings, to recycled glass chandeliers; about 16 different artists’ work is featured.
The store includes an emerging artists wall, featuring local artwork, including that of Lhyle’s two sons Ryan and Mason, and Hackley’s son Nathan. All paintings on the Emerging Artists Wall are $25, and all proceeds from sales go to Providence Pediatric Hospital. Hackley serves on the board for Providence Hospice Foundation.
“Wine is itself an art,” said Lhyle. “I respect the process of wine making tremendously. You’re sucked in by wine and art — tantalizing the senses of your brain.”
Throughout the week, Gallery hosts special events and tasting, including Sparkling Sunday, where champagne and sparkling wines are available for tasting.
On Wednesdays, a Woodinville winery comes in and pours wine for about 60 or 70 customers, according to Lhyle; a great opportunity for an educational experience.
“I’ve been to a few of the Wednesday night tastings and found them to be informative as they typically have focused on certain producers or grapes,” said Sean Sullivan, a customer at Gallery Wine & Art. “The owner Marcke is very knowledgeable about wines and his partner Laura knows the local artist community quite well.”
The weekly events are updated on Gallery’s website. The business also offers different packages to host private events, meetings or parties, complete with catering and private chefs. Connoisseurs can also join their wine club, with three different levels and regions.
“The biggest challenge is to get people to trust you,” said Lhyle. “If people don’t like something, they tell 10 people, but if they do like something, it’s amazing if they tell just one person. I love doing things for charity, and discovering wine and art — it’s amazing when people recognize that.”
“People can come have fun, discover new wines, and always rely on it,” he continued. “We want to be the neighborhood wine shop. I want to make it!”
Gallery Wine & Art is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit them on Facebook and at www.gallerywineart.com.
JANA JACK is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.