We started Wine Solutions to bring you the best wines from all over the world at the best prices with the best client service. There is a reason we don't use the word "customer" when we speak about our clientele - we value relationships over transactions.
We come to this business as wine buyers and collectors ourselves! We model our service after all the top places we have done business with, and that goes beyond the world of wine!
With that being said, while we have our opinions on what that means to us, it's your tastes that matter most. If you like a certain producer or certain wine and that is what you want, that is what we'll get you. If you see a wine somewhere and ask us about it, we'll give you an honest opinion if we think you may or may not like it. We won't just go along with it to make a sale, we want you to come back and know you can trust us when you are looking to branch out or discover new wines.
Every wine we offer or buy and put on our shelf is a wine we have tasted ourselves and feel are worthy of your attention!
Tom Kobylarz, DW
dipWSET: Diploma in Wines - WSET (Merit)
(Wine & Spirits Education Trust)
Wine Solutions (Owner)
While I have my particular tastes, it is yours that matters the most. The goal is to learn from each other so that I can bring you wines I know you will love. A collector at heart, I have been a consumer for 20+ years so I know what it’s like on the other side of the transaction.
The wine bug bit me back when I was living in San Francisco in the early 2000s. I started to take notice of how unique and special wine was culturally. Napa and Sonoma are an hours drive north, wine was very common in the social fabric as it was so accessible - I immersed myself as much as I could. After migrating back to NYC, I missed my easy trips to wine country so I threw myself into reading about wine and attending tastings to keep learning which lead me to the old world. I started a successful tasting group, the Hoboken Wine Group. I partnered, organized and executed successful wine events with producers and retailers. I also have visited many of the great wine regions around the world in Europe, Africa, and the US – there is no better way to understand a wine than to visit the source of its creation.
My specialties are wines from the old world that are classics and the new cutting edge producers pushing the envelope of classicism and terroir further, sought after and hard to find wines from Burgundy, the Rhone, the Loire, Champagne, Piemonte, Tuscany, Sicily, Corsica, Portugal, Germany, Austria, and Spain. I also dabble in the best of the best from Napa, Sonoma, and Oregon.
Wine Solutions (Owner)
Ken Place has been a wine collector for over 20 years and has an impressive deep personal cellar of many of the world’s best wines. He is the former Director of Operations and Wine for the Triangle Wine & Food Experience (TWFE), a non-profit that raises money for the Frankie Lemmon School. Ken focused on elevating the TWFE's caliber of participating wineries and helped increase wine auction revenues from $1.1 million to $2.1 million. In this role, he was responsible for inviting top wineries from all over the wine world to participate in the event, particularly trying to increase international participation.
Ken worked with Accenture for 22 years, the last 12 years as a partner in their government practice in charge of selling and delivering large, complex government systems. During his tenure at Accenture, he led project teams as large as 100 people. It was there, as a project manager, that he was introduced to the world of wine as he would be responsible for selecting wines while entertaining clients. In his last two projects, he used his Spanish-language skills to run projects in Latin America where he had an opportunity to work alongside other executives from Spain and Mexico who loved wines as well.
Ken has extensive wine travel experience having visited over 600 wineries in 10 countries and 4 continents. He has visited most of the major wine regions in Europe and the USA. Ken has not visited South Africa and New Zealand, two wine countries on his bucket list.
Ken is excited to start this new phase of his professional career with Wine Solutions. He hopes to help make this the best wine store in the Triangle, focusing on high quality wines and just as importantly, excellence in client service.