17 Sep 2010
Be careful, surfing at entrepreneur.com can lead to some wild adventures. For Mike and Deedee McMahon, it’s just the adventure they were looking for. The McMahon’s own and operate several coffee shops in the Spokane area. With the operations of these shops firmly under control, Mike and Deedee were intrigued by the Wine Styles franchise and were eager to dive into something that involved their other passion, wine. As I’m fond of saying, “Wine and coffee equal liquid love.”
Wine Styles is an exciting franchise that brings an old world retail wine experience to communities. The franchise costs are relatively low and the look / feel of the store is a unique wine sales concept. Spokane’s Wine Style is located in the Indian Trail area, just north of Francis. While the Franchise helps create a consistent look and feel to each store (along with consistent vendor management and point of sale systems), the McMahon’s, along with their son J, are given a good amount of freedom to bring in Northwest wine and a good selection of Spokane wine as well.
The Wine Styles store is laid out very nicely and has a large selection of merchandise, accessories and about 220 different wines to choose from. Instead of wines being laid out by region or grape variety, they are laid out by style ranging from crisp, silky, rich, bubbly, fruity, mellow, bold and my favorite, nectar. “When customers come in the store, we can ask them what style of wine they like, and point them in the right direction,” says Mike. In addition to some great selection of Northwest wine, including Leonetti and Pepperbridge, you’ll find Spokane favorites, Barili, Nodland, and more. Wine Styles also has about 20 wines that are exclusive to the franchise. There is something for everyone at Wine Styles Indian Trail, you can even get a Wine-a-Rita; a combination of various red, and white wines mixed with lemon aid concentrate in a granita machine. I could easily see this becoming a guilty pleasure for many wine snobs.
You’ll also notice that Wine Styles is becoming a hub of wine activity as well. Their event calendar is full of wine tastings, beer tastings, art showings, live music, and educational classes. A quick visit to their web site will keep you in the know. Customers can also join their wine club and a very unique text club. The first gets you two bottles of wine, 15% discount on re-orders, 10% off on any wine, invitations and discounts at wine tastings and more for only $34.99 per month. The latter, is a cool text based coupon system that sends coupons and instant savings right to your cell phone.
Follow Wine Styles on Facebook to stay connected to all of their upcoming events. You can even join their text club by texting WineStyles to 50240 for a great introductory savings!
If you live up north and are looking for a great place to experience wine (whether you’re a newbie or an expert), Wine Styles on Indian Trail is an excellent space. Stop in during one of their tastings and experience something new.
8801 N. Indian Trail Rd
Mon-Thurs: Noon – 8pm
Fri-Sat: Noon – 9pm
22 Mar 2010
Does your wine shop provide a unique wine of the month club, special membership discount, quality guarantee, unique stock, and weekly tasting and educational events? No? You must be shopping somewhere other than Spokane’s Vino! A Wine Shop.
Running away from the bureaucratic world in the 80’s John Allen ventured into the wine business joining Lindaman’s Café as a wine steward and barista in 1988. The journey to Vino travelled through a failed wine shop (Grape & Grain / Award Winning Wine) and the Four Seasons Café prior to opening in 1995 at their current location 222 S. Washington. For 15 years, John and his staff have been providing quality wine, unique events and a special wine club to wine lovers in the Northwest.
If you’re looking for the deal and rock bottom prices, you may not always find it at Vino. If you’re looking for a wine shop full of knowledgeable people, quality wine, and good prices, then check out Vino! Customers return year after year because they can trust that each wine on the shelf has been tasted by the Vino staff. If the wine does not meet their tastes, they don’t stock it. Sounds like a tough job, tasting all that wine. Vino also brings in a broader range of wine than the typical store. Once a month Vino travels to Seattle to pick up unique wine and special orders. Chances are if you want it, they can get it.
The Wine of the Month Club
One of the unique programs Vino offers is their Wine of the Month club. Nearly 1000 people currently participate. The idea is simple; customers choose a price point (under $15, under $20 and under $30) and they choose red or white wine. Club members have a box in the back room where from 1-6 specially chosen wines are sorted and stored in an air-cooled room. Once a month a newsletter informs members of their new release, including tasting notes from the Vino staff. Wines can be picked up at their convenience. You can count on each of these wines being tasted and approved by the staff and representative of their varietal and region (nothing obscure or odd here).
The simple, straightforward nature of the program keeps people coming back month after month.
The Connoisseur Club
“So, John, can I get a discount on this wine?” With this comment, the Connoisseur Club is born. Similar to a Costco Club membership, members pay $50 per year and receive 15% on all wine they purchase. During Vino’s sale periods, Connoisseur members receive 25% off. Wine lovers, high end buyers, and general winos like me really benefit from this type of discount program. Costco Club prices with a trusted staff and taste guarantee!
Events and Classes
Some wine shops can be intimidating. Vino is a welcoming environment where wine types and styles are easy to find. The large selection of nearly 1000 wines all include the staff tasting notes. If you looking for wine events and learning opportunities, there is no shortage at Vino. John and staff host events nearly every Friday and Saturday including wine dinners, tasting classes, winemaker tastings, and more. Check out their events page on the web site, or their Facebook page to stay up to date.
Buy local! Shopping at the grocery store may provide convenience but typically the selection can lack creativity and finding a quality wine can be a gamble. Shopping at a local wine store or a local winery supports our community, keeps more money local and sustains economic growth. I challenge you to buy more wine from a local wine shop, like Vino or directly from the winery!
222 S. Washington (parking is limited)
Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm