The Perfect Pairing: Wine, Cheese, Etc.
When Stephen and Kerri Murray began dating, they discovered an interesting and unexpected connection to a place. Stephen’s family was from Huntington Beach and Kerri’s family was from Anaheim Hills but they both regularly visited grandparents in Long Beach.
In fact, their grandparents both lived in the same Long Beach neighborhood! Stephen and Kerri realized, coincidentally, that during their grandparental visits, they both regularly went to eat at the same local Mexican restaurant, Baja Sonora.
Sixteen years later, now married, the Murray’s moved to that East Long Beach neighborhood that felt so right. Now two years later, as of January 2022, they own the shop next to Baja Sonora. This couple seems destined to pair well with the Stratford Square region of Long Beach. But like any good wine, there’s a lot more complexity to their story than meets the eye.
A Different Perspective
Wine, Cheese, Etc. is intimate, handcrafted, knowledgeable, and purposeful in every way. Wines you cannot find anywhere else in Long Beach from boutique wineries around the world. Premium ingredients that share a similar story. Lesser-known cookbooks (rather than celebrity-type) that will transform your weekly meals and dinner parties. Gifts handpicked by Kerri that she would enthusiastically give to friends for birthdays, anniversaries and showers. Thoughtful cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, nuts and jams that will elevate your nights in.
All this and more, Stephen credits to coming at a market-concept from a different perspective. While Stephen certainly knows a lot about wine, he does not consider Wine, Cheese, Etc. a sommelier-driven market. Stephen is a chef first. The wines carried in this shop are gems for those who appreciate a good pairing at an affordable price. These are not wines for your cellar. These are wines to be paired with dinner and enjoyed tonight. All wines are within the $12-$44 range and Stephen loves the customer who comes in with a dinner in mind in search of the perfect pairing. For those who don’t have a dinner in mind… you couldn’t find a better guy with whom to have a conversation about cooking.
A Chef-Driven Market
Before Kerri and Stephen settled in Long Beach, they followed Stephen’s chef career wherever it took them. From the Montage in Laguna Beach—one of only four 5-star restaurants in California; to Bottega in Napa, where Stephen played sous-chef for celebrity chef, Michael Chiarello; to Santa Monica, where Stephen opened up the Local Kitchen and Wine Bar; to LA, where he became head chef for Terroni Restaurant Group and helped them open up their gourmet markets, Dopolavoro. Increasingly, Stephen fell in love with the creativity of managing a “wine-food market.”
“Most people think that being a chef is a creative job, but it’s actually a lot of repetitiveness. With a market, we can constantly change and explore and create new experiences with food and wine.”
Exploring From Home
After a decade and a half of working long hours in amazing restaurants under esteemed tutelage, Stephen now has the opportunity to connect like never before with his adopted hometown. He and Kerri are looking forward to sharing their expertise with residential neighbors and visitors to the community they love.
Kerri teaches at a local preschool and helps curate the gift selection for Wine, Cheese, Etc. Stephen runs the shop with a passion, excited to help his clientele explore the wondrous world of wine and food with him… all within their beloved East Long Beach neighborhood. Wines and cheeses at Wine ,Cheese, Etc. will be constantly rotating — new combinations, new pairings, new ideas for dinner parties, celebrations, and nights in. Wine, Cheese, Etc. is your local connection to a globally gourmet world.
In addition to retail purchases, Wine, Cheese, Etc. offers three notable services:
Wine Club: Receive two bottles a month (new arrivals) and discounts on all your purchases. $48.
Cheese Board: Give 24 hours’ notice to pick up a pre-made gourmet cheese box from Wine, Cheese, Etc. Set pricing is available to feed 4 or 8. Larger catering packages are also available.
Bi-monthly Tasting Events: Reserve your spot at the next themed-tasting event! These events happen every other week and explore a new theme each night. The event includes a four-wine flight and snacks. Book online.