Starbucks serves wine!?

22 10 2010
Starbucks' Olive Way location (from USA Today)

Starbucks' Olive Way location (from USA Today)

We interrupt this California chardonnay week with a brief news bulletin: Starbucks is rolling out a new business strategy that includes serving cheese, cured meats and WINE at certain remodelled locations, in an effort to boost their business in the late afternoon and evening hours.

The atmosphere will be more restaurant-like, with food served on real actual china, and the lights dimmed.  But what kind of wines will be served?  And will they be any good?

Judging from the flagship store on Olive Way in Seattle, they will be very good, at least for a selection of mid-priced wines.  It looks like Starbucks will stay true to its hometown, serving wines from the northwest like the cabernet sauvignon from Chateau Ste. MichelleBarnard Griffin‘s fume blanc, and the super organic Snoqualmie Naked riesling. The merlot is from “House of Independent Producers,” which is a slightly mysterious effort by Christopher Hedges of Hedges Family Estate to, apparently, give massive wine producers an outlet for higher quality, single-vineyard wines (raising the question, who’s wine is it, anyway?). 

Further “south,” the menu will include Erath pinot noir from Oregon.  Much further south, you will be able to score a malbec from Alamos — although in my not-really-that-humble opinion, you should avoid both of these.  Representing Europe will be the pinot grigio from Maso Canali.

Finally, the lone Californian will be the William Hill central coast chardonnay, which recently scored a big ol’ buttery recommendation here.

Target pricing: $7 to $9 a glass, and $22 to $34 a bottle.  Beer will be also be served, at around $5. 

If you get a chance to visit the flagship store, please leave a comment and let us know what you thought!




One response

25 10 2010

Another first for Starbucks. It will be interesting to see what level of wine does best in this atmosphere.

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