Dominick Cerrone: History, Quality Harmonize With Charm of Good Mansion Wines

WHEELING — When the charms of Wheeling’s history help open doors to an exciting new future, few local businesses exemplify that harmonious coupling like Good Mansion Wines.

First opened in 2006, the unique shop nestled in the neighborhood along 14th Street in East Wheeling came about after proprietor Dominick Cerrone purchased the building — the L.S. Good Mansion.

“I acquired the building, and then I realized that the interior was so befitting of having a wine shop where you really wanted to boast it as the finest selection that people would be able to get in three- to four-our radius,” Cerrone said.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, the L.S. Good Mansion is a city treasure that for many years was a show house on the local historic landmarks tour.

“This building probably is one of the best examples of the turn of the century Victorian homes in Wheeling and their illustrious interiors that the fairly basic exteriors hid,” Cerrone said. “It’s a real pearl, the level of detail in the woodworking, glass and stained glass. It would probably best typify some of the turn of the century town homes in the city.”

Cerrone is a civil engineer by day with his firm Cerrone & Associates, providing consulting services throughout West Virginia since 1964 when his father ran the company. Dominick Cerrone took the helm there 12 years ago at the firm – located right next door to the wine shop, where his passion that became a hobby quickly evolved into a full-time business venture in its own right.

“I was always an aficionado of food and wine, because I grew up in a household where there was a lot of cooking and … I don’t want to say there was a lot of wine drinking, but we drank wine,” he said, noting that the mansion itself served somewhat as the catalyst for creating Good Mansion Wines. “It became an immediate venue, not only because of the large wine selection, but also because of the historic nature of the mansion.”

Back when Cerrone opened the shop, few local businesses were taking such a risk. Downtown Wheeling was a ghost town, and few local boutique shops and restaurants were making a splash like so many are today in Centre Market and in other growing areas of town.

“This was one of the few business startups in the mid-’00s that took a stab at investing in downtown,” Cerrone said. “People thought it was crazy to open a little shop not only in town, but also just to be in East Wheeling.”

Since then, however, Good Mansion Wines’ product offerings and unique charm paved the way to the notion that maybe it’s worth going out of the way to get something great. And the radius of their reach began expanding … exponentially.

“After a couple of years, we occasionally on the weekends would get one customer from Pittsburgh,” Cerrone said. “Now it’s every day. We really are a portal for the city. We have regulars from Pittsburgh, from Cleveland. It’s a real regional draw with the wine selection alone. We focus on finer wines — wines that are specific designations, capable of aging. It’s a collection of finer wines that is very hard to obtain.”

In recent years, Good Mansion Wines has expanded to offer an array of other high-quality imported goods, including fresh food items like cheeses and meats – or “salumi.”

“There’s a real demand and interest for highly procured, good, ambassador products that you don’t see on the shelves in America that much,” Cerrone said, noting that a lot of “imported” items found in U.S. grocery chains are the mass-produced brands from overseas, not the family-produced, award-winning goods in the European Union.

“If you’re trying to make a really nice meal or being a little more selective in the quality, this is more of what you would see in the better food stores in Italy and in the EU,” Cerrone said. “You can find it right here. We’re more connected with the contemporary kind of centroid gastronomical offerings in Italy.”

Just 15 years ago when the shop opened, Cerrone said you never knew who might be moving in when a house in East Wheeling went up for sale next door. Today, there are price wars among entrepreneurs who see the potential in starting a business in a neighborhood that is laced with charm and character.

Good Mansion Wines is located at 95-14th St. in East Wheeling and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. They offer lunch features, deli selections, wine tasting, a supper club and much more. Visit goodmansionwines.com for online orders or to check out more.