Delco Profile: Blend Your New Favorite Wine at Vino Bambino
When John Giacomucci was a kid, his parents, like many Italian parents who immigrated to America, would make their own wine. Hailing from Abruzzi, the Giacomuccis would skillfully mix barbera, alicante and moscato grapes to achieve just the right balance. Over time, his parents and his older cousins taught him to do the same — and he was hooked.
Broomall’s Vino Bambino is the result of Giacomucci turning a lifelong passion into a business that allows other wine enthusiasts to experience the art and science behind wine blending. As founder and master winemaker, Giacomucci brings his entrepreneurial acumen and wine-blending skill to Vino Bambino.
We sat down with this wine lover and learned how Delco’s first wine blending hot spot came to be in Broomall.
Why did you open Vino Bambino?
The blending concept has always been my passion. It’s the most fun part of the longer wine-making process! It makes creating your own wine approachable to those who want a custom blend, but who don’t have the patience or the money to start with the grapes.
The lessons I learned from my parents and cousins really inform how we blend. They would take the varietals and blend them so the more acidic white balanced the more alkaline reds. Varietals vary from season to season, based on the climate and weather as the grapes grow, so there’s always a lot of art behind blending. Plus, everyone likes what they like! Wine blending means you get to create your favorite wine.
Tell us more about your blend masters!
We’re wine lovers who’ve been blending wines, based on our Italian heritage, for almost all of our lives. We know the grapes, know the varietals, are extremely detailed — and have great taste buds! We use our experience and passion to help you create your wine. It’s our job and our pleasure to teach our customers about wine and to guide them through the process.
How does wine blending actually work?
First, we source the finest grapes from Lake County, California. Once in Pennsylvania, we take those grapes and use Old World winemaking methods to make single varietals — cabernet, pinot noir, etc. Those wines are aged in special oak barrels.
Next, our blend masters work with customers to educate them about wine, understand their preferences and combine different varietals into a blend that’s better than the sum of its parts. This is all done in one evening. Included in the wine blending cost is a bottle of your special blend. We recommend storing that bottle in our climate-controlled facility for a minimum of three to nine months to allow it to properly age in the bottle; storage for up to one year is included.
Can customers buy more of their blend?
Absolutely! A wine blending experience is $65 per person and includes working with our blend masters, a charcuterie tray and one bottle specially labeled for the customer. You can also order a case, or get an even bigger discount with a Barrel Membership. There are three — quarter barrel, half barrel or full barrel — and all include storing your wine in our climate-controlled cellar for up to one year.
Do you sell the different wines made to the general public?
That’s another fun part of wine blending. After a few weeks of blending, we often find one that’s irresistible. We’ll name it — Cabernet Hills, for example — bottle it and sell it. These are one-of-a-kind wines that are well-priced for all levels of wine lovers. When they’re gone, they’re gone, so they’re collectors items.
Do you need a group of friends to register for a wine blending experience?
Not at all — unless it’s more than 15 or so; that would be a private party. We offer sessions on Thursday and Friday nights, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon. You can sign up online as an interested wine lover, a couple or a few friends. We all blend together for that session.
Private parties are really popular for bachelorette parties, corporate team-building events, or girls’ or guys’ night out. When you book a party or come in for a wine blending experience, you also have the option to pre-order food from select local restaurants — gourmet pizza, salads and other dishes that go great with our wine.
Is there anything else coming down the road?
There’s a lot in the works! Keep an eye on our website for wine tastings, wine clubs with different levels of membership, upcoming events and a rooftop space just down the street. We’re hoping to have the rooftop open by summer 2022.
One thing that’s available right now and makes a great gift for any occasion: a Vino Bambino gift card!
Visit Vino Bambino at 848 Sussex Boulevard, Suite C, Broomall; call (610) 299-5008 for the latest!
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Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Contact us at (610) 565-3679, by email, or online.
All photos courtesy of Vino Bambino