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New ownership at My Wine Cellar brings more wine, classes

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Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 8:00 am

For the second time in the past year and a half, there are new owners at My Wine Cellar in Ahwatukee.

Zoya Vora-Shah said she fell in love with My Wine Cellar when the past owners became clients of hers. She was a wine distributor for 10 years and was in the restaurant business before that. When the opportunity came to take over, she took it.

"In the restaurant business I worked as a server, hostess, expediter, sushi chef, you name it, I've done it," Vora-Shah said. "Combining those and owning a place was one of my dreams for a few years now, and I just wanted to do it right. This opportunity came upon me and I just really love this place."

Vora-Shah says she's not sure why the past owners, Scott and Irene McMurray, wanted to sell, but that in the month she has been owner business has been great.

"All of our regulars are just amazing," Vora-Shah said. "They're not only regulars but they're well wishers. They bring new people in and they talk about us. Word of mouth is huge for us."

Vora-Shah has made some changes to the menu already, giving customers a choice of 30 wines by the glass or bottle and new draft beers. Vora-Shah and chef Shay Spear are taking some time before changing the food on the menu too drastically.

"This is kind of an institution," Vora-Shah said. "People love coming here from Ahwatukee so things that do work here we want to keep. That's important."

What's also important to Vora-Shah is education. She plans to start hosting weekly wine tastings on Saturday afternoons and her bar manager, Katie Hallan, is taking over the Wine 101 classes. She plans to add more classes for those in the community who are not new to wine so that they can try something different.

"Wine is one of those things that the more you try it, and the more you go to the vineyards and talk to the wine makers is really where you get your knowledge," Vora-Shah said. "It's not something you can just read a book about and know everything about it. We hope people will come in and try something they've never tried before. That's the fun part."

The next event on the calendar is a Bubbles Brunch from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 17. If weather permits, Vora-Shah hopes to have the brunch on the patio with live music and feature five different sparkling wines from places like California, Italy, Spain and France. To reserve a spot for the event, contact My Wine Cellar at (480) 598-9463.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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