Jessi Trauth is full of passion for life and for creating a great experience. Born and raised in Stevensville, it was evident from an early age that she was going to go her own way and enjoy the journey along the way. It is with this passion that Jessi has opened Jessi’s Wine & Goods at 100 Skeels Street in Hamilton.
As a young girl, she began taking dance, voice, and acting lessons and found she loved expressing herself through performance. After graduating from Stevensville High School, and performing in ballets and musicals throughout her school years, Jessi moved to New York City. She received a BFA in theatre from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, and performed in musicals, touring around the world. She expanded her passions to include jazz and most notably, good food and wine.
After eight years in New York City, she made her way to San Francisco. While there she started a jazz band and studied wine learning from many reputable wine professionals. She began hosting interactive wine tastings where she led her guests through a series of fine wines paired with great food and music.
After moving back to Montana, Jessi started local jazz, soul, and blues band CORK & SPARK and continued to host musical wine tastings where she sang pairings with each wine. Jessi worked as the manager of Westslope Distillery in Hamilton during their first year open. Here she further developed creative ways to tell the story of the ingredients in a drink, and what to pair with that drink to expand the taste buds and experience. Her customers really enjoyed this aspect of having a special quality crafted cocktail.
After a short stay in Missoula, Jessi decided that she really wanted to be in the Bitterroot and Hamilton. She knew that she wanted to share her love of artisan wine and food. Even though there’s a pandemic going on, she made the leap and opened up Jessi’s Wine & Goods in November.
Jessi has studied under several sommeliers and continues to expand her knowledge of what she calls artisan wines. Many of the wines in the shop are from small producers from throughout the world that put great care and artistry into their wines, strive for sustainability, and to create wines which offer an authentic expression of the places they come from.
“I care about the little guy, the grower producer” said Jessi. “This is a way to support them, offer special unique wines to the Bitterroot, and help bring greater connection to what we drink and eat and the people we share such pleasures with.”
There will be fun tastings in the future! She isn’t legally allowed to offer tastings at the shop but she will be offering wine tastings in other locations when it’s safe.
Jessi spends a lot of time studying the wines before she makes her selections. She wants to know the story of the wine and the winemaker, and make sure the wine is of the highest quality so she can pass this on to her customers. She says that even though some wines may not be labeled as organic, the actual growing of the grapes is done organically for many of the wines in the shop with minimal intervention in the cellar.
For the most part, she says these wines are ‘clean’, meaning there are little to no sulphites added and no chemicals nor flavors added to achieve color and taste. For people who may have some sensitivities and haven’t been able to enjoy a glass of wine, these types of wine may be what they are looking for.
But there is more than just wine at Jessi’s Wine and Goods. She also carries specialty beers and ciders, including a line from Oyster River Winegrowers in Main and Cyclic Beer Farm in Spain. Other beers come from Belgium, Germany, Mexico and beyond. Jessi has put the same care into her beer and cider selections as she has into the wines.
The wines at Jessi’s Wine & Goods range in price from $10 to $200 and more. There are discounts of 5 percent on half cases and 10 percent on full cases. There really is something for everyone.
What goes with fine wine? Cheese, cured meats, and good rustic breads. You can find these here too, and they are as local as Jessi can get. There are cheeses from Tucker Family Farm out of Victor. Pork salami and Lonza comes from Fifth Season in Darby. There are many others cheeses and meats too including offerings from Cypress Grove, Point Reyes Farmstead and Rogue Creamery. Gourmet chutneys, jams, honeys, olives, sardines, olive oils, vinegars, salts, crackers, nuts, chocolates and more are also available.
Looking for authentic artisan bread? Jessi recently started offering fresh bread from Odd Fellows’ Bakery located in Salmon, Idaho, and Grist Milling and Bakery located in Missoula. Odd Fellows’ bread is delivered every Thursday afternoon and Grist every Tues.
One feature that will soon be offered is membership in their wine club. This is a way to connect with like-minded wine aficionados as well as a chance to experience and explore unique wines from around the world. The wine club will start in January with memberships available starting December 15. There are also regular gift cards, gift baskets, and great stocking stuffers available for purchase. Sign up to receive updates at www.jessiswineandgoods.com
Stop by Jessi’s Wine & Goods at 100 Skeels in Hamilton or call 406-361-8211 /email [email protected] for delivery or curbside pickup. Holiday store hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11-6 and Sundays 12-4. It’s a great way to learn about new wines, beers and more, and bring more enjoyment to your life.
Follow Jessi’s Wine & Goods on Instagram & Facebook and visit their website at www.jessiswineandgoods.com
Masks are required inside the shop.