Sheila McNeil, Owner and General Manager, has more than 30 years experience in the wine industry and has learned about wine and spirits from the ground up. She began her career long before wine was the popular part of American culture that it is today. Since opening the doors of Wine & Sprits of Slingerlands in 1997, she has cultivated close ties to the community and is known for her generosity and wide breadth of wine and spirits knowledge. A member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, the Jack Daniels Single Barrel Society, and the proud recipient of the 2000 Retailer of the Year Award from the New York State Grape & Wine Foundation, Sheila has a well-deserved reputation as an expert in a field once dominated by men. She tastes every wine she sells and is an educator as well as a purveyor of fine wine and spirits. Her favorite cocktail is a classic Martini and her favorite wines are Champagne and Chardonnay. Upon tasting a spine-tingling wine, she has been known to say... it's a beautiful thing!
A wine lover for many years, Bill eventually discovered Wine & Spirits of Slingerlands and became a regular customer, talking to the staff about wine and asking them for recommendations. A longtime regular at the weekend wine tastings, he continued to expand his palate and wine knowledge. Having retired from the Albany County Probation Department as a Supervisor after 31 years, he thought this would be a great place to work and continue to learn about wine. His favorites are those made from the cool climate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as Tempranillo from Spain and Southern Rhone wines. A lifelong music lover, you can always hear him singing along with the radio in the store.
Starting out drinking Mateus back in 1970, Ted soon hit the better stuff, to loosely paraphrase Bob Dylan. Essential to his early growth as a wine drinker was a trip to Germany's Mosel and Rhine regions. From there, he took every opportunity to try new and different wines, visiting wineries from California, Oregon and Washington to New Mexico, Virginia, France and New York, where he met Dr. Konstantin Frank and tasted wines with him in his kitchen. As well, he's met Robert Mondavi and Mike Grgich of Grgich Hills Winery and had the luck of being in Napa Valley in 1976 just after the famous Judgment of Paris, allowing him to taste some of the winners. All of this was a hobby until 2003, when he began working in a wine shop and eventually made his way to Wine & Spirits of Slingerlands in 2011. Prior to his career in wine, Ted worked in music distribution for 30 years.
Growing up with two wine-loving brothers and former employees of the store, Graham has worked for Wine & Spirits of Slingerlands since he was a college freshman at RPI, and throughout that time has developed quite the wine palate. Now a mechanical engineer and still a part time employee at the store, Graham continues to be a familiar presence, guiding people in his inimitable way toward new wines and always remembering their favorites. A longtime lover of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a recent proponent of Italian wines, Graham is one of the young old-timers at Wine & Spirits of Slingerlands and can tell you the ratings and tasting notes of new and older wines alike, with the specificity that only an engineer can.