Teller Wines – Wine Cellar for Lewes

by Michael Short on March 30, 2011

By Michael Short, March 22, 2011

Steve Kogler is a man who knows how to follow his passion.

He has managed to turn that passion into a thriving business.

Teller Wines was born just over eight years ago after Kogler was laid off following the September 11 attacks.

Kogler sold his home on Lewes Beach to finance the business and Teller Wines opened with a small staff and a passion for all things wine. You’ll find hundreds of vintages in the Savannah Road store and Kogler will be more than happy to help you find the perfect wine to go with dinner.

His goal is simple. “Find great wines and sell them with  service and a smile and create fun and interesting wine-related events.”

“I thought this is a great time to open up a wine business . . . It is a passion for me.”

“We’re the wine cellar for Lewes,” he said.

The store also sells beer, spirits, craft beer, chocolate and a few other items, but the star of the show is clearly everything wine.

Teller Wines will host a wine expo this Saturday at the Lewes Yacht Club to benefit the Lewes Farmer’s Market. Held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, the event has been sold out for weeks.

Numerous other businesses and restaurants have also provided their time and help for the fundraiser for the farmer’s market. It’s the ninth time that Teller Wines has held an expo. “It’s just part of being in the community,” he said. “It’s something Teller Wines has always done. We kind of want to help people.”

It’s a wine store with a few differences. 

The business, located at 1201A Savannah Road next to Annabella’s Restaurant in Lewes, prides itself on service, on price and on quality wines.  Most of the wines cost less than $15 a bottle.

The name comes from the staff’s desire to tell people about wine, Kogler said.

“Teller Wines is a retail store that specializes in wines from around the world,” according to the Teller Wines website. “Teller Wines strives to inform, inspire and share the passion of great wine.”

It also has a  unusual way of displaying wines. Wines are displayed according to nine different flavor categories. Those nine categories are then divided according to price.

The first category as you walk in the door is simply labeled “fresh and clean.”

That is designed to make it easier to pair the right wine with the right food, he explained.

“It drives the people that are collectors crazy,” he said.

But it does help people know what goes well with a cheese course or wild game or whatever might be on the menu. Customers routinely say thing like “I’m having rockfish. Can you set me up?”

Each customer has a “tasting card” created just for them, which allows them to keep track of what wines they have purchased in the past.

Kogler used to taste some 2,000 wines a year and travel extensively to find new varieties when wine was just his hobby.  The store incorporates some of the best features of his favorite wine shops.

He enjoys sharing his knowledge of the vine. The first store had a 16-seat classroom. That’s perfect for teaching what Kogler likes to call “Wine 101.”

He still teaches classes and there are wine tastings every Saturday afternoon.

The newest venture for the wine store will be a wine club that will allow customers to buy wine online at the published wholesale price. “It’s a wine club unlike any other,” he said.

The Teller Wines website, which is being updated, will soon feature a link to the new wine club. Kogler hopes the club will be up and running within a few weeks.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Find out more about Teller Wines by emailing or calling 644-7400.

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