All About 45 Central Wine Bar in Seaside
Wine lovers this interview is for you… We had the opportunity to speak with Chef Jim Shirley and wine curator Richard Liveakos at 45 Central in Seaside, FL. This 30A wine bar is unique in that they offer 45 different wines by the glass many of which you simply will not find anywhere else in the area. In addition to an award-winning wine list, they serve delicious sushi, charcuteries, small plates and more. 45 Central Wine Bar is located in the heart of Seaside next door to ‘Duckies Shop of Fun’ and it offers indoor/outdoor seating options.
Interview with Chef Jim Shirley and wine curator Richard Liveakos at 45 Central in Seaside
30A Prime: What was the inspiration behind opening 45 Central here in Seaside?
Chef Jim Shirley: One of our favorite things is wine. We love wine, all different types… Red, white, sparkling… So this is one of my passions and when I was opening I brought my good friend Richard Liveakos with me as my wine curator. We’ve put together this nice list of 45 wines by the glass.
Our wines are from all over the world every flavor profile you’re looking for we will likely have. We try to fill every niche and we change things up all of the time which means there is probably going to be a couple new things on the list each time you come in. So we’re always hunting for the new flavors and tasting a lot of different wines. We do that for you so that we can assure you that everything here is going to be something great and something you’re not going to find in the store.
Richard: Hello I’m Richard Liveakos the wine curator here at 45 Central in Seaside, Florida where we have forty-five wines by the glass. Our happy hour every day is from 4 to 6 pm where everything is half off of the by the glass price. We have an extensive wine list and we have a reserve wine list as well.
30A Prime: What are some common questions you get from customers?
Richard: People always ask… Can we buy a glass of wine and walk around Seaside? Of course you can is what I tell them… 30A is a vacation spot and it’s where people relax and have fun. Having a nice glass of wine to walk around with is part of that situation.
30A Prime: What kind of experience should people expect at 45 Central?
Chef Jim Shirley: They can expect friendly service, a wonderful glass of wine served in crystal, and great little bites to eat. It’s definitely a chance for you to try a bunch of different wines that maybe you haven’t had before. Some different wines whether it’s the White Pinot Noir or the new Sonsierra of the day.
30A Prime: How is the 45 Central wine list compiled?
Richard: We find it by being very eclectic. We have variable wines that we try and we also have something that you might not see on a wine list… For example, we have a Barolo. You don’t see a Barolo by the glass anywhere else.
We change our wine list all of the time. In the olden days, wine lists were solid because you had to go to a printer. But now with modern technology, we can change it once a week. If we run out of something and we need to reprint, we just go print it up. When we have something special we want to offer the public we’ll simply print up a new list.
We have reserve wines by the glass that I think are very exclusive. So people can come in and get a glass of Jayson Chardonnay which is made by Jayson Pahlmeyer and you won’t find that anywhere else around this area. So we’re very proud of the fact that we offer wines by the glass that you just will not see anywhere else.
30A Prime: Do you have a favorite wine?
Chef Jim Shirley: There are all kinds of spectacular wines so it’s difficult to choose a favorite. The ADEA Pinot Noir is drinking great and of course, our fabulous selection of campaigns are all delicious. In the middle of the summer, I drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc and it pairs up really nicely with the sushi we offer here at 45 Central.
30A Prime: Please tell us about some of the awards that 45 Central has received.
Richard: We’ve won the Wine Spectator Award and we’ve also won the Best Wine List on 30A award. We’re proud of these accolades and it gives us joy to know people like the wine list we compile here at 45 Central.
30A Prime: Please tell us about your food menu.
Chef Jim Shirley: The base theme with our food menu was to have more of a tapas type thing. So we have the classic cheese plates and really nice charcuteries. We have a Cajun charcuterie which is really just a smoked boudin and it is delicious. Our queso is made with Brie and Grand Cru, olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. Our menu includes things that will encourage you and enhance the wine experience.
30A Prime: What type of wine would you suggest on a cold winter day?
Richard: I would suggest something red. It seems like when it’s hot people want white wines or a rose. Here at 45 Central, we have a really nice Rose wine list that is very refreshing. We have bubbles that are refreshing. We have red wines that are light and go with lighter fare.
When you serve wine you want to follow this rule which is… If you’re serving a heavy dish, you’ll want to offer a heavy wine. If you’re serving a lighter food dish then serve a lighter wine. The idea is that you don’t want the wine to compete with the dish and vice versa. You want them to be matched up and complement each other. Weight is a very good way to match wines with food.
30A Prime: Please tell us more about 45 Central’s Paella Nights.
Chef Jim Shirley: Sure, and that’s always a great thing to look at our 45 Central Facebook Page for more info on as well. The Paella we cook outside right in front of you and it’s a great dish. We have the 36-inch Paella Pans and we’ll start with the meats and the vegetables and we’ll cook it all there right in front of you.
Paella nights here at 45 Central are a lot of fun, its a display thing and the community really turns out for those events which are on Wednesdays and Fridays. So get here early and get your spot as we sell out almost every time. We also have live music a couple nights each week and that’s just always fun. It’s a great way for people to relax, sip wine and enjoy looking out at Seaside, Florida.
30A Prime: What makes 45 Central different from other wine bars?
Richard: Well… We are 45 Central and we have 45 wines by the glass so I would say that is a very extensive situation that you just don’t see anywhere else in this area.
Chef Jim Shirley: We have 45 different wines by the glass so it’s really a place where you have a great opportunity to try a bunch of different wines that have been well curated and thought about. At 45 Central you can find the right wine for your needs and it’s all reasonably priced.
Richard: We would love for you to come by and enjoy a nice glass of wine. Don’t forget about our happy hour from 4 to 6 pm where you can buy every wine by the glass at half off. So please come and see us at 45 Central. Thank you so much.
Chef Jim Shirley: Please come join us for a glass of wine at 45 Central Wine Bar right here in Seaside, Florida.
You can learn more about 45 Central Wine Bar via their website here… FortyFiveCentral.com