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The Work We Do: Chris Hayes, Vintage Mattituck Wine and Spirits

My name is Chris Hayes. I’m one of the managers at Vintage Mattituck. 

I’ve been here for five years since we opened in 2014, but I’ve been working for this family for 12 years now in the wine business.

I actually used to work at Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue. I went to school for culinary. I was in the same restaurant business. One of my old managers was a sommelier at Stone Creek Inn. He kind of saw my work ethic and took me in and moved me into this business.

For me, since I come from a culinary background and have a wine background, it’s just fun for me … when someone comes in and they [say], ‘I’m having something for dinner, what wine goes well with that?’ And I pair the wine with the food, and I get someone to come back the next day and they say it was perfect. The feedback like that is one of my favorite things.

I’ve always been good with my hands … Food was just the easiest choice to go into. You have the most creativity. Whatever you want, you just throw together. Hopefully it tastes good.

Most people like to just stick with the same wines over and over again because they trust it and it’s kind of tradition. But wine is the same thing — you can try something new from a different area you’ve never been to and see what the styles are and see the other flavors.

So, we just got a new van. We do deliveries anywhere from Shelter Island to Aquebogue. We go every day — a few times a day, actually. So, we’re trying to make it easiest for everybody if they’re having a party or don’t want to leave because they’re cooking dinner — we’ll come out to you.

In general, we do offer a large selection of local wines and wines from around the world, but we do offer liquor, also.

We try to carry a little bit of everybody. Since everyone’s so friendly … we want to carry everybody’s wines.

We want to feel like more of a mom-and-pop, family-run business … We’ve always been kind of family-friendly, easy-going for everybody. Everyone enjoys that a little bit more.

I believe Vintage opened Memorial Day 2014. We were half a store at the time. Two years later, Subway was next to us and they ended up leaving. We knocked down the wall and expanded and made it into a proper store.