‘Ewa Beach’s New Neighborhood Bottle Shop Is a Hidden Gem
The Punt Wine Provisions has more than 100 wines and an all-local beer selection.
The Punt Wine Provisions is not a shop you come across by accident, unless you’re in Ho‘opili and happen upon a sandwich board sign at the end of Maunakapu Street, an area as yet unmapped by Google Street View. The wine shop takes up just 126 square feet on the ground floor of a mixed-use residential unit—and it’s worth a visit for its ever-changing selection and the expertise provided by owner Morgan Scott.
You can see pretty much everything the moment you enter, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have an easy time finding what you want. “I really felt like the West Side needed a shop like this,” Scott says, noting that ‘Ewa Pantry is about 15 minutes away. She estimates she’s tasted about 95% of the bottles, making each the personal selection of a wine industry veteran. With that in mind, the more than 100 bottles—mainly wines that Costco and Foodland don’t carry—can seem overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
Lucky for us, Scott is a self-proclaimed wine nerd who loves to help customers find their perfect match, whether by writing tasting notes on the backs of price tags or simply asking, “What’s for dinner tonight?” She aims to spotlight smaller producers, family-run businesses, biodynamic wines, female producers and wines imbued with a sense of place. And though she wants to expose people to wines they don’t know, there are a few more recognizable brands—even cans of Dark Horse. She’s a nerd, not a snob.
About 85% of The Punt’s bottles can be considered everyday wines, Scott says, the most expensive of which is $35. A $13 bottle of Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne is one of her favorites. “I have a vivid memory of the first time I tried it”—she has personal stories as well as deep industry knowledge to share whenever I ask about a bottle—so she’ll always carry it, even as she brings in new inventory weekly.
I buy one, along with two reds—a German that uses Pinot Meunier grapes, which is what Champagne is made from, and a Spanish that she thinks I’ll like based on tasting notes of chocolate and coffee. I have a hard time not buying more when she describes a New Zealand rosé as a “porch pounder,” explains how a particular Italian wine is aged in concrete, and points to some bottles with wax caps, a process she’s literally scarred from. The most expensive bottle is a $189 Champagne, a blend of 21 vintages.
Scott got into wine in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where her husband was attending graduate school at Cornell. Her first day in Ithaca, she interviewed at a winery and ended up doing every job she could—managing the tasting room as well as working the harvests. There’s something romantic, she tells me, about getting dirty and tired but “making this thing that I loved and knowing that people would buy it one day.”
She and her husband, an architect who designed The Punt’s logo and handles its social media, came to Hawai‘i in 2019. “It took me a year to get my liquor license. It was a long, long road,” says Scott. She had to make her case to the Honolulu Liquor Commission, which had never approved a wine shop that was technically part of a home. (She and her family live upstairs, which has a separate entrance.) The grand opening was in March. For now, The Punt is a retail shop, not a bar, though Scott hopes to occasionally offer samples with a temporary license for tastings.
In this area of West O‘ahu, where Local Joe opened in May and Sage Creamery and Village Bottle Shop are opening this year, Scott is excited about collaborating with other local businesses to bring more folks in. She invited Sage Creamery to sell ice cream out of its truck in front of her wine shop recently. This Saturday, June 17, Pop Box, which sells pooch-friendly popsicles, will do the same from noon to 4 p.m. She’s hoping to work with Aloha Boat Charters to get some of her wines as add-ons to charter packages.
In addition to wine, The Punt carries a selection of all-local beer from Hana Koa Brewing Co., Aloha Beer Co., Kalihi Beer (formerly Broken Boundary), and even Beer Lab, which cans its Omakase for retail sale. You’ll also find shrub from Hawaiian Vinegar Co. and nonalcoholic seltzers from Lucid Lush, a local company founded by ‘Ewa Beach’s Kamryn Marchant in 2022.
In the corner under some local artwork, a cart holds a few “Wines of the Moment.” Each one is a chance to talk about what makes it so interesting. “This section in particular makes my nerdy little soul happy,” Scott says. Even if you don’t know much about wine—or maybe especially if you don’t know much about wine—it’s worth it to ask, if only for the story.