Lower Downtown District, Inc.

Devany McNeill, LDDI Board Member

Jul 18, 2000

Maybe it's because I'm from a small town in the Midwest where wine was something that you had at weddings, wakes or Catholic spaghetti dinners. After the event was over, we tossed out the big jugs with the twist-off caps and went back to sweet tea.
Now everyone is so sophisticated it's kind of scary. And although I have a pretty impressive corkscrew and a knowledge of wine that includes the differences between a Merlot and a Pinot Noir, there's still a lot I don't know.
So when I was on my way to meet Devany McNeill, "proprietress" of Wines Off Wynkoop, I was praying she wouldn't ask me my favorite wine (hint: it's white, cold and about 12 bucks). She didn't. Instead, when I said, "Have you always been a wine connoisseur?" she laughed and said, "When we opened the shop I didn't know anything about wine except that I loved to drink it." I liked her right away.
Devany looks like the female impersonator of her shop. She's a blend of urban chic and girl-next-door. And when she says her favorite thing to do on a weekend
is sit at the bar, drink wine and "eat a bunch of appetizers," you can almost see her surrounded by friends she's had for years and a couple of people she recently met and found interesting.
In fact, Devany's such the opposite of what I'd expect-she isn't, well, the snob that some become when they turn their basements into wine cellars-that I wasn't
even surprised when I asked her for a good, everyday white whine, she listed two, both under $10. (I bought them both. She was right). But if she wasn't right, she told me to
"Cork it and bring it back," and she actually meant it. I could tell.
Do you have a long history of retail? Actually, I primarily worked in offices and majored in Marketing. When I was 18, though, I worked behind the counter at a really high-end car wash at Newport Beach. Harrison Ford came in a lot. He was unfailingly nice.
What would you do if you weren't doing the Wines on Wynkoop thing? Like everybody, the writing thing appeals to me. And, I think Id like to own a funky kind of clothing store. Retail is something that's really become a part of me.
What's your favorite book? I'm reading Tasting Pleasures by Jancis Robertson. She is the editor of the Oxford Dictionary and these are her memoirs. It's
Have you been in LoDo Long? I basically grew up in Denver and lived in California and Texas. I went to school here (at UCD), worked down here ever since. That's why I've become involved with LDDI (Devany is a new board member and the chair of the new retail committee). I love the neighborhood and I want to give something back.

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