The Wine House – Wine Bar in Fairfax, VA
The husband and wife team, of New Zealand born sommelier & restaurateur Michael Pearce and his American political veteran wife Jackie Pearce, together created The Wine House; inspired by a passion for hospitality and wine, infused by their experiences in both New Zealand and Napa Valley brought here to you in Fairfax, Virginia.
The Wine House is your complete neighborhood wine and food destination. We offer a bistro-style dining experience featuring local produce paired with a large international selection of boutique wines.
Our wine list is our store. Select a bottle of wine off the racks and we will prepare it for your table. To purchase wines to take away, for retail sales, we deduct $10 off the marked price. This pricing strategy is extremely competitive, and allows our diners to enjoy delicious wine at great prices, with the option to take wine away at retail prices.
Each wine in store is tasted by Michael Pearce and selected on the basis of production standards and craftsmanship to ensure that every wine your purchase from us is of quality.
We are happy to be one of America’s small businesses funded by the SBA and enjoyed by many Fairfax residents.
“The Wine House is our opportunity to share with the residents of Fairfax what we enjoy in an approachable style to wine service complimented by small pan, hand crafted food.”
Michael was born into a 7,000 acre hill country farming family in New Zealand that taught him the value of hard work and appreciation for the fruits of labor from the land. These values transferred into a deep passion for the vineyard along with a vision to succeed in business and all that he embarks upon.
His wine career launched itself 15 years ago in his hometown of Wanganui, New Zealand. Michael opened his first restaurant with his business partner of the same name, cleverly entitled, “Michaels’”. It was one of the first fine dining establishments to host wine maker dinners featuring some of New Zealand’s top wine makers over a set tasting menu.
With a desire to see the world, Michael left New Zealand to explore Europe and develop his appreciation for gastronomy and oenology in its roots. The conduit that catapulted him into that world was Seabourn Cruise Line. Michael served with Seabourn as their Senior Sommelier before becoming their Bar & Public Rooms Manager where he designed and implemented successful training programs that were recognized fleet-wide. Seabourn has been awarded repeatedly as one of the world’s top luxury cruise lines.
Onboard Seabourn Michael traveled the world visiting some of the most beautiful and even remote ports of the globe. It was in his travels that he found unique wines, first-class foods and superior hospitality standards. Michael spent 6 years with Seabourn before meeting his American wife onboard and relocating back home to New Zealand.
While rediscovering his kiwi roots, Michael joined the launch team at Craggy Range Winery in Hawke’s Bay where they launched one of, “New Zealand’s most ambitious wineries ever”, as described by Jancis Robinson. It was at Craggy Range where Michael had the privilege of reporting to what Decanter Magazine describes as one of the 50 most influential people in the world of wine, Steve Smith, MW. Michael also was fortunate enough to cross-train in the winery with a hands-on experience guided by wine maker, Doug Wisor (1973-2004), a young America who hand-crafted one of the highest rated red wines by Robert Parker to come out of New Zealand.
Family illness brought Michael and Jackie back to the United States where they would temporarily settle in Sonoma, California before coming to the east coast. Michael was quickly picked up in Napa Valley by one of the oldest wineries, Niebaum-Coppola Winery (currently Rubicon Estate) owned by five-time Oscar winning film director, writer and producer Francis Ford-Coppola.
At Niebaum-Coppola Michael was able to put the training programs he designed at Seabourn into use serving as their Wine Educator. Among Michael’s responsibilities was to train the over 100 tasting room employees in all areas of wine tasting, production and service. During their time in New Zealand, Sonoma and Napa, Michael and Jackie stumbled upon unique and approachable wine & food destinations that were ultimately the concept behind The Wine House. Jackie being a native of Northern Virginia made a suggestion to Michael that that the NOVA market needs a unique and approachable wine & food destination that brings together all their experiences. With that the two moved east and started drafting the business plan that would become The Wine House.
Jackie’s story is not as rich with experience in wine, but with a foundation in marketing and PR that would prove to be an asset for The Wine House. Although she grew up drinking some of the world’s finest wines, she knew very little about them until she met Michael in the Mediterranean onboard Seabourn Cruise Line and everything changed.
Jackie shares her now passion for wine with one for politics. A political veteran, Jackie has worked for state political parties, served as a press secretary on Capital Hill for a US Congressman and a Communications Director for a state-wide US Senate campaign. She hung her political hat when she met Michael and craved a slower paced lifestyle.
The Wine House launched one week after Jackie delivered their second child, Sophia properly named after one of Michael & Jackie’s favorite wines from Craggy Range Winery. They now have 4 young children and Jackie happily juggles her marketing & promotions role with The Wine House and while homeschooling the kids.
Dinah was born on the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago. She moved to the US when she was 11 years old and settled down in Northern Virginia at the age of 13 with her older sister and mother. At an early age, Dinah could be found shadowing her mother in the kitchen. Her mother has since passed away, but Dinah came to appreciate the way her mom showed her love for those around her through food and entertaining; a passion that will continue to live on in her life.
Dinah was attending Virginia Tech (VT)when her love affair with wine began. In 2006, as a student, she worked for the Hotel & Tourism Department at VT and as a banquet manager for The Inn at Virginia Tech, then ran by Hilton Hotels. It was in those positions that she was introduced to the world of wine through event tastings and seasonal selections. It wasn’t until she graduated, however, and moved back to the Fairfax area that a piqued interest in wine turned into a love and career.
In 2008, as a recent college graduate, Dinah walked into a quaint little wine bar bistro known as The Wine House where she met the owner, Michael Pearce. To say the rest is history would be an understatement. She began as a server and within a year was promoted to General Manager. Michael and Dinah quickly became friends. He took her under his wing and helped develop her palate, understanding, and love for wine. As her knowledge of wine grew, so did her interest in food and wine pairings. Dinah already had an appreciation for food and hospitality, which she learned from her mother. To combine that family tradition with her new career in the wine industry was a perfect pairing.
Over her nine years at The Wine House, Dinah has grown into her role as General Manager. She supervises day-to-day business, hires and trains staff, conducts event planning, and, most importantly, continues to grow her knowledge of wine. In 2014, Dinah traveled to Spain, one of her favorite wine regions, on behalf of The Wine House. The trip, hosted by The Country Vintner, was a five-star experience into a world of food and wine. Although wine was the major focus of the trip, food was a strong component. Upon returning to work, Dinah was eager to introduce her newfound knowledge in flavorful wine and food pairings to The Wine House menu.
In 2015, Dinah married longtime boyfriend, Joel Herring. And in April 2018, they welcomed their first child, a son, Logan William Herring. She recently passed her WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 with Merit, an accreditation that she continues to pursue. Dinah enjoys being a part of The Wine House family, expanding her friendship and wine knowledge with Michael, and looks forward to what the future may bring both personally and professionally.