[ Yes, your honor. No, your honor. ]
Valentine’s Day 2021 is fast approaching, I find myself pondering every tiny detail to make sure the day is perfect. I could panic in search of my pièce de résistance, but this is one detail that I am not concerned with. Whatever the occasion, entertaining or flying solo, cooking from scratch or ordering takeout, I know that the night will be complete with a bottle of vino from Honor Wines.
As I approach the storefront on Beach Street, my eyes are drawn to its welcoming windows and the simple blue bricks elegantly sporting their logo. Upon entry, my ears are greeted with cool jazz that seems to dance through the bottles, each of which is displayed like a work of art.
It is typical to find one of the owners, Lorie and Robert Honor, ready to guide you through your pursuit to find the perfect wine, if your knowledge of “terroir” and “tannins” is as lacking as mine. If you know the lingo and you know what you like, Lorie and Robert, or any of their amiable employees, will answer any question you may have with expertise and a smile.
When the Honors opened shop in 2012, the intent was not to sell a product, but to bring together a community by delivering a beautiful experience. Small businesses providing such a personalized approach to a “luxury” product like wine were a distant notion on Staten Island. This experience was relegated to “the city,” until Honor Wines brought it to the North Shore as a regular, every day experience.
In choosing what wines to offer in their diverse but tailored selection, Lorie and Robert seek out wines that are unique but fitting to the tastebuds of their patrons. As any small business owner would agree, Lorie says “You can’t be of service to the community if you’re not listening to it.” As much as you will enjoy the Honor Wines experience, the Honors love assisting you just the same:
“I could have a more transactional
relationship, but I wouldn’t
have as much fun.”
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the Honors have been grateful to remain open. To meet community needs, they offer contactless pick-up as well as local delivery. While wine is often considered a luxury, Lorie Honor says “to me, it’s a grocery.” In the midst of the pandemic shutdowns, Honor Wines has provided a sacred, unchanging ritual too many in the community: an evening glass of wine, to relax and comfort.
While running this successful and loved community business, Robert and Lorie have balanced their pursuits of other passions as well; he published his first book, “Bogart’s Hat,” in 2021. She has continued teaching, loving both careers as different expressions of herself. Lorie has also recently announced that she will be running for Borough President of Staten Island. When asked if anything she has said should be off the record, Lorie responded:
“Everything I say is on the record
and everything I say is
completely authentic to me.”
Sounds like just the leader we have been searching for.
Written: Shanon Harris
Slightly edited by: Lulé Karpuzi