Colony Wine Market:
It’s All About Quality–And A Love Of Ole Miss For Scott Jackson
(Reprinted here with the permission of Rebel Nation Magazine)
Having just celebrated ten years in business all at Colony Crossing this past spring, Colony Wine Market in Madison and owner Scott Jackson is rightly proud of the significant milestone. Jackson’s love of his store is on par with his love of all things Ole Miss – and that’s strong.
Just as his Ole Miss Rebels play in the ultra-competitive SEC, Scott and his store have a great deal of strong business competition as well in the Metro Jackson area. So what sets Colony Wine Market apart?
“When we opened in May 2007 we were the only wine and spirits shop in southern Madison County west of I-55,” Scott answers. “Since we set up shop eight other stores have opened in our area yet we are still the preferred destination for savvy shoppers! We set out from the beginning to have a unique inventory of small-production wines from all over the world that I personally select. We also offer small-batch and private barrel spirits. Many of our wines, spirits, syrups and other cocktail elixirs you will only find at our shop,” Jackson adds.
“Colony Wine Market also sets out to offer the best expertise and product knowledge in the marketplace,” Scott notes. “I’m a Certified Sommelier and belong to the oldest sommelier guild in the world, the World Court of Master Sommeliers. Over the years I have trained five sommeliers to work in our shop every day.
Our customers have come to expect competent recommendations and expert advice for all of their wine and spirits needs,” Scott continues. “And we love to show our customers how many great wines we offer under 25 and even 15 dollars!” he says, dispelling the myth that the only good wine is expensive wine.
A Union/Louisville, Mississippi native, Scott’s roots with Ole Miss run deep, as does his pride in being an alum.
“I received a Bachelor of Public Administration from the Political Science department at Ole Miss in 1993,” he tells of his connection to the University. He laughs, “As a lifelong Rebel fan, I admit to having a bit of an addiction to Ole Miss athletics! Locally here in the Metro, I help each year with fundraising for the Central MS Rebel Club and UMMC by donating my expertise and some fine wines and charcuterie in the form of a wine tasting for auction. I am very proud to say that I am an Ole Miss alumnus,” he says.
We asked Scott what was the biggest challenge in his business today – and what are the greatest rewards?
“The biggest challenge we face in our industry in Mississippi today is dealing with government bureaucracy,” he candidly answers. “All wine and spirits are exclusively distributed through the MS Alcoholic Beverage Commission, a division of the Department of Revenue. It should be run like a private business rather than a state agency since it is a huge contributor to the state’s general fund. And I believe that the MS Legislature should fund it and treat it accordingly. Furthermore, adult Mississippians who enjoy wine and spirits should be allowed to make adult decisions about how they are educated and make purchases. Our liquor laws are simply archaic and must be updated, in my opinion,” Scott states.
As far as the most popular items in the store, Scott returns to the subject of the grape.
“Wine has been the biggest growth sector of the alcoholic beverage market in the U.S. for about 15 years,” Scott says. “Right now, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé are the hottest styles and Italy’s Piedmonte, and all of Spain are the hottest regions going. Luxury whiskeys are freakishly popular, but high-end, aged rums are the next big thing you’ll see this summer,” Scott predicts.
With eight other employees assisting him at Colony Wine Market, Scott and his staff always aim to please the customer. That dedication would probably go a long way in explaining the ten-year anniversary just reached.
“We have case discounts, run monthly specials, and our customers can choose to sign up for emails or texts to be the first to learn about new or special products,” Scott says. “In addition, we are currently working on a new rewards program. Also, our customers benefit daily from sommelier services like wine and food pairing, cellaring advice and cocktail ideas that we offer.”
An obvious success in the business world, Scott says it all goes back to the Ole Miss days which is another reason why he is such a rabid fan and supporter of all things Rebels.
“Ole Miss is near and dear to my heart,” he says. “Those years as a student obviously formed lifetime memories and friendships. I wear Ole Miss gear at work from time to time, especially on ‘Flagship Friday’ or game days,” Scott says, adding with a laugh, “but then I have to deal with pushback from the more radical elements of our rival fan bases!”
(Colony Wine Market is located at 121 Colony Crossing Way in Madison, MS. Scott is also an annual contributor to Rebel Nation Magazine in each Football Preview where he gives his inside look at what’s trendy for the Grove and tailgating each season.)