A small slice of home in Texas.
Spec's opened its doors in Houston, Texas, in 1962, and since then it has provided a cave of endless wonders for lovers of good food and good wine (aka the good life). This family institution is run by three generations committed to satisfying palates of all persuasions. And this includes good wine, of course.
Alan Dennis is responsible for wine purchases at Spec's, no small task considering that the company now has 180 boutique stores across the entire state. Spec's was established in 1962 in Houston, Texas, and remains a family-owned business to this day. It is currently run by the second and third generation of the founding family. Alan came on board in 2010, and was immediately encouraged to focus on wine, something he has taken very seriously and continues to explore with true passion.
Alan Dennis handles wine purchases at Spec's
Familia Torres: The varied nature of your wine selection seems to reflect the diversity of the city and its people...
Alan Dennis: That’s true. Houston’s diversity is what makes it special, and Spec's reflects or represents that diversity in terms of everything wine, spirits, beer, and food related; the idea is to have something for everyone who walks in the door.
FT: Something that makes Spec's so exceptional is its incredibly extensive wine selection. It's like a cave of wonders or an amusement park for curious adults...
AD: When I started here, we carried about 16,000 wine brands. We then reduced this number somewhat, but we will always strive to offer our customers the largest wine selection possible. We work with renowned brands and very exclusive small producers to give people the opportunity of taking home wines that are standard-bearers for quality, as well as trying something new and exciting.
Spec's owner Lindy Rydman, company president John Rydman, and his daughter Lisa Rydman at the flagship store in Houston. Spec’s is the largest chain of wine and spirits stores in Texas. Photo: Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune.
FT: Similar paths. Spec's and Familia Torres are both built on a family legacy and have a long-term vision...
AD: Familia Torres's wines and brandies are increasingly well established at Spec's. We get frequent requests from our customers. After seeing the work the Torres family is doing to explain and build a deeper understanding of indigenous Catalan varieties, and its efforts in combating climate change by initiating a variety of projects, I'm convinced that wine lovers in our country will only become more interested. All of this will also be extraordinarily beneficial for many future wine producers. I find it encouraging to meet people who continuously question the paradigms of winegrowing and winemaking. Familia Torres's commitment is inspiring.
Texas and Penedès, united by a heritage that transcends blood lines, turning generations of two families, and two surnames, into symbols of family legacy and dedication.