Ashleigh Hutchison likes to savor wine, each sip building part of a story. That philosophy of wine is at the foundation of her wholesale company (Industry Outlaw), her wine (Mana Wines) and her new wine bar (The Annex inside the Carmel Crossroads shopping center).
At The Annex, Hutchison looks beyond the typical, starting with the name. “I don’t want to call it a bar,” she says, referring to the space as a social club. It’s a lively and colorful setting.
Weekly: What inspired The Annex?
Hutchison: I wanted to build a house for all my brands. Everything around you here has a story. We provide a platform to tell those stories.
How do you choose your wines?
Right now we’re working solely with Industry Outlaw’s portfolio and trying to give those brands a name.
No local wine?
I respect and admire my community, I love and celebrate the winemakers here. They all do a great job already, why would I want to do it again? That would be redundant. It doesn’t mean we don’t support each other, I just want to give a voice to the voices that haven’t been heard yet.
Recycled grocery store bags are an interesting choice for the wine list.
When I lived in Hawaii in the middle of nowhere, I ran out of paper. Getting more was 20 minutes each way and I had a menu to present, so I cut up a paper bag and stuffed it through my printer. Now it fits with my “baller on a budget” space at The Annex.
Favorite wine on the list right now?
I love them all, they’re my babies. It just depends on what you’re in the mood for. I drink red wine right now, that’s my jam. I love the Siete Pasos “El Prenda” Rioja. It’s easy drinking.