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The Wine Column

Tessora's Barra di Vino

By Stett Holbrook

CAMPBELL'S Pruneyard now has a wine bar and wine store. Tessora's Barra di Vino opened last month, and it's a sweet little shop run by family and friends. Carol Pouya co-owns the business with her husband, Hamid Pouya. Both are wine lovers but this is their first foray into the wine business.

"This has been a dream of ours," she says.

Helping her out behind the bar is Carol Pouya's daughter Jenni Snyder and in the kitchen is her daughter Nikki Snyder. The family connections don't stop there. Pouya's friend Lisa Santana also helps runs the business along with her daughter, Kathryn Bakewell.

Who's Tessora? That would be Pouya's beloved big black Labrador retriever. Tessora is Italian for "treasure."

The wine bar features 20 or so wines by the glass. There's a small food menu that includes cheese, cured meats, bruschetta and desserts. Pouya's goal is to sell small-production and lesser-known wines not likely to be found at the grocery store. In the retail section, roughly half of the space is given over to California wines, many of them from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Tessora's offers only California wines now, but will be adding other American wines in the coming months.

The store's lineup of imported wines is eclectic and well chosen, with several good values. I'm a sucker for Spanish reds, and I picked up a 2006 Étim "Selección" for  $17, a bright, well-rounded blend of granache, carignan and syrah. 

"What I'm aiming for is an atmosphere that's very calming, someplace you come into and relax," says Pouya. Good wine and friendly people will do that.

  Tessora's Barra di Vino
1875 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell (in the Pruneyard next to El Burro restaurant). 408.626.7711.

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