November 2008

Rollers Total Beverage

Author: Ann DeMart | Photographer: courtesy of Rollers Total Beverage

“Man does not live by bread alone. Sometimes there must be a beverage.”—Woody Allen

Some businesses ebb and flow with the economy. The beverage business, however, seems to thrive no matter what. And Rollers Total Beverage has been successful for years; in fact it’s the island’s oldest liquor store. John Kelsey, who has owned Rollers for nearly nine years, said, “It’s been fueling events here since the 1960s.” The Coligny area-shop has also been supplying many local restaurants and bars, as well as individual residents and visitors.

Now, the shop’s expanded wine and high-octane microbrew selections have made Rollers an even more popular destination than ever, especially since the addition of wine buyer and manager, Camille Copeland.

Copeland is exuberant, knowledgeable and completely unintimidating. She’s expanded the variety of wines and created a tasting room and schedule of lively, themed tasting events. Her “Top 20 under $20” includes bottles that scored over 90 points and some that haven’t been scored at all—a fine opportunity to discover less ubiquitous wines. Copeland has also recognized that although men often order the wines at restaurants, women do a lot of wine shopping—a task they sometimes find daunting. So she’s introduced a special series to offer women some tips and sips.

Her extensive experience includes years of special event planning, wine expertise and a particularly close kinship with cuisine. Copeland’s husband, Frank M. Copeland III, is the executive chef and food and beverage director for Wexford Plantation, and the couple once owned a restaurant in Atlanta. When they moved to Hilton Head, Copeland decided to switch to a more family-friendly career. “Having already worked with planning menus for events, I figured it would be an easy transition into wine,” she said.

As we “transitioned” through the stacks of cases and boxes toward the back room, I felt a bit like a character in a prohibition-era movie, and half expected Copeland to say, “Spike sent me,” when we reached the tasting room.

“People always ask me how I sip and stay fit,” she said. “Well, I believe in having your wine and drinking it too! In my free time, I work with my trainer, Pete. I’ve battled hypothyroidism for 12 years, and with his help, I’ve lost and kept off more than 55 lbs. in just two years!” Copeland also walks on the beach with her little girls, Carson and Broderick, and their dachshund on weekend mornings.

Copeland recently celebrated her first year at Rollers. “I love all of the guys I work with; we have a great team! I have fun, upbeat, people to work with every day. Not everyone can say that,” she said. She complimented Scott, Luke, B.B. and Capt. Jay for their hard work, help and easy humor. She also had fine words for the head of the team. “John Kelsey, is one of the best people I have ever worked for,” she said. “He’s so reasonable, good to his employees and truly in love with his family—and his dog Teddy. And, he gives such positive feedback.”

Kelsey also gave Copeland the freedom to make decisions, with very successful results. While arranging the party room, she saw things piling up and asked him, “Where will we put everything?!” His droll response? “You’ll figure it out.” She certainly did.

Copeland offered a list of her all-time favorite wine makers and cellars: “Patricia Green is one of the best female winemakers. Her Pinot Noirs, Sauvignon Blancs and Chards are deeee-lish! I love Carson’s Viognier and Syrah from Kitfox Vineyards in California. They also make two really great table blends called Foxy White & Foxy Red that are less than ten dollars a bottle.” Other California favorites include Quintessa and Kalin. Copeland and her husband recently traveled to wineries in Oregon and Washington. “Margie and Don Olsen at Torii Mor in Oregon are incredible. It was one of the best winery experiences I’ve ever had.”

Camille Copeland’s advice and events are well worth pursuing. I purchased several bottles that she recommended, and every one is a delight—just like Copeland, who obviously relishes her new life as much as she enjoys wine!

Visit Rollers at 6 Lagoon Road at Coligny Plaza on Hilton Head Island. For more information, call 843-785-3614.

November Tasting Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 4:30-6:30 p.m.: “Oregon & Washington Jewels!”
Limited holiday selections and single vineyard wines from Patricia Green Cellars, Sass Winery & Powers Winery.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 4:30-6:30 p.m.: “Wine For Your Sign”
Selections fit for Scorpios, including a passionate mix of bold, deep, mysterious reds.

Wednesday, November 19, 4:30-6:30 p.m.: “Thanksgiving with the In-laws & Outlaws!”
Tried & true Thanksgiving wines as well as some new, exciting & different pairings to impress—and cope with—the family.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 24-26, drop in to sample turkey-friendly selections while you shop!

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