Have you ever met someone on multiple occasions and thought to yourself what a cool dog that guy has.
Well I did and probably most of you did too. What I didn’t know is that the very same person who owns this pretty pooch, also owns St. Pete Wine Smith. Good ole Mr. Todd Smith. Todd is super down to earth, knowledgeable, and all around cool guy. He is very passionate about the wines he sells. A bang for your buck type of guy. Saying to you, buy the 60$ bottle if you want it, but he is sure he can give you a 25$ bottle that will “blow you away”. So, thank you very much Todd for the interview it was a truly a pleasure to meet someone so passionate about their craft!
In one word describe yourself.
Chuckles…wow..in one word. Hey you started with a hard one.
Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Fiona AKA #Fionabutts
How long have you been living in st pete?
Since I was five years old. So for a while I spent three years in Denver but I came back.
What is your favorite thing to do in st pete?
Besides this? Probably fishing, I like Fort DeSoto, I like wading in the water and fishing.
What do you think is the coolest thing about the St. Pete community?
I like how independent downtown is. It’s not corporate almost all the businesses are people who live here. You don’t see a lot of chains and stuff in downtown St. Pete, and it was a ghost town there was nothing here when I grew up. So, I like that aspect of it has grown from within not from the outside.
We are getting some outside influence now. Restaurants from Orlando and Miami area are moving into St. Pete, but for the most part it’s a very independent community and I like that.
Do more people know you or Fiona?
Probably Fiona at this point.
I am Fiona’s dad.
It is always goes like hey! What do you do? I own a wine shop. Everybody knows her and people like to take her picture. I gotta start telling them to hashtag Fiona or her nick name Fionabutts.
Gio: Fionabutts how did she get that nick name?
One of my good ole bartender friends at the old independent right downtown. Colleen gave her that nickname one day and it just stuck. She just called her Fionabutts and I was like why did you call her that? Because she has such a cute little but! So then it stuck.
I was at Black Crow the other day and I saw some girls taking her photo outside and she was just sitting there… sitting pretty and I was thinking I need to start telling people to hashtag her in the photos. Fiona wouldn’t work, but #fionabutts would be unique that way I can see all the pictures people take of her.
How long have you been in the wine business?
Since 2001 so 16 years.
What is your favorite wine?
There’s a lot of ways to answer that question. I can tell you my favorite wine right now, but it might change tomorrow.
What’s your favorite today?
That funky stocky bottle next to the blue. It’s an unfiltered bone dry Prosecco that’s made in Frizzante style half sparkling. It’s just fizzy and it’s like I said. Bone dry.
Technically it’s Prosecco because it’s made from the glera grape, but it’s not anything like any Prosecco you ever had because it is completely dry. It tastes like a dry lemonade with fizz. That is kind of what it tastes like.
If you like light sour beers you’ll love it. It has a tartness to it, but it’s just fascinating I have never seen anything like it. So, that right now is my favorite wine and I am selling the crap out of it.
This one right here the “Aupa” Pipeno that’s also dry, fermented completely dry. It is a Chilean rustic kind of peasant wine is what they call it. It is meant to be served chilled right out of the fridge. There is no sweetness, but when you chill it that really brightens the red fruit flavors on the back-end. It is just delicious and I don’t drink red during the summer it’s just too hot I can’t do it.
I drink very seasonally I drink reds during winter. I drink more white, sparkling, and rosé than anything else, more white than anything really overall. I would drink champagne every day if I could afford it….but I can’t afford it.
Gio: I think you and Frank Sinatra have something in common.
(chuckling) Yeah I do like Frank (still chuckling)
What made you so interested in wine?
I fell as backwards into the business actually. I moved to Denver for a girl.
TO BE CONTINUED……