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Winestyles

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Brian K Miller

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Winestyles

by Brian K Miller » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:19 pm

In addition to the usual BevMo (which is actually kinda nice), Nugget Market, and a couple of locals, my hometown will apparantly now be getting a Winestyles shop-only a short four block walk (stumble???) :) from home!

Their website is...fundamentally uninformative, so I'm interested in any experience with this chain? Do they carry any good stuff, or only middle market fruit forward wines?
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Doug House

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Re: Winestyles

by Doug House » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:11 am

Disclaimer: I work in a wine store.

I think these stores are fine for people new to wine or people who just want something to drink with dinner tonight but who don't want to worry too much or pay too much attention to what's in the glass. Ultimately, they are fairly boring stores -- I cannot imagine shopping one more than 4-5 times in a year.

Like Best Cellars, Winestyles is intended to "simplify" the world of wine for both consumers and people working in/running wine stores. The claim is that a few broad stylistic classifications -- "Crisp" or "Bold" or "Nectar" -- can at least partially obviate the need to understand grape variety, place, or vintage. Neither you (the customer) or you (the franchisee) need to worry about all that complexity you'd face in a "normal" wine shop.

Actually, for someone who has a very casual interest in wine and no interest in becoming more educated or discerning, the concept works ok. For anyone who gets interested in learning more or expanding their knowledge and experience, the limited assortment and strong bias towards "no name" producers tends to be a problem.

The real key to this business model, though, is the ability to sell private label or exclusive imports at relatively high pices. Many of the wines you'll find in Winestyles -- or the fast growing Total Beverage, for that matter -- are bought in bulk and bottled specifically for the chain. This lets the retailer "own" the wine brand and capture higher mark-ups while being insulated from price competition (since no other retailer can offer the same brand).

So, expect to see a limited selection, staff who have been trained more on a sales script than on general wine knowledge, and a lot of labels you won't find anywhere else. This doesn't mean you can't find some nice wine there, but I'd expect most people who read or post on this board will find themselves bored with Winestyles pretty quickly.

Doug House
(ITB)
Doug House
ITB - http://www.finewine.com
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Brian K Miller

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Re: Winestyles

by Brian K Miller » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:52 am

Oh well. Have to say a perusal of their web site is very much along the lines of your post. Still. Four blocks away...if they have a few nice cheese....it might be an ok place for a casual imbibing.
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Winestyles

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:42 am

Brian K Miller wrote:Oh well. Have to say a perusal of their web site is very much along the lines of your post. Still. Four blocks away...if they have a few nice cheese....it might be an ok place for a casual imbibing.


Where are they going in, Brian? Haven't heard of them.


Mike
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Dave Erickson

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Re: Winestyles

by Dave Erickson » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:39 am

Just what the world needs...another "Gap" for wine. :evil:
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Re: Winestyles

by Brian K Miller » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:37 pm

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:
Where are they going in, Brian? Haven't heard of them.


Mike


I live in downtown Vacaville. They built a small "town square" project downtown, and Winestyles is apparantly (based on the ABC Public Notice Poster) going into the remaining commercial space.

They will actually be a good fit for Vacaville. There's really no wine bar or restaurant with a good wine list in town, so...

If I recall, they have another shop in Walnut Creek.

A "Gap for Wine" LOL. Well, there are worse things than Gap, and I suppose there will be worse things than Winestyles.
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Re: Winestyles

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:22 am

Brian K Miller wrote:
Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:
Where are they going in, Brian? Haven't heard of them.


Mike


I live in downtown Vacaville. They built a small "town square" project downtown, and Winestyles is apparantly (based on the ABC Public Notice Poster) going into the remaining commercial space.

They will actually be a good fit for Vacaville. There's really no wine bar or restaurant with a good wine list in town, so...

If I recall, they have another shop in Walnut Creek.

A "Gap for Wine" LOL. Well, there are worse things than Gap, and I suppose there will be worse things than Winestyles.


I think you're right - they do sound like a decent fit for Vacaville. I hope it works out well for them.

That Nugget market is hard to beat, though!

Mike
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MikeH

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Re: Winestyles

by MikeH » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:40 am

We have two near us in Cincinnati. It seems they run tastings every Friday nite. Approx $5 per person.

Comments about their business model seem in line with what I saw here.
Cheers!
Mike

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