A little #vino with your tall skinny latte? Starbucks expands #wine offerings.

11 Sep

Wow, what a whirlwind summer it’s been, chicas y chicos! This MBA program is not for the faint of heart, which is why my little under-the-stairs wine closet is starting to look a little lean (hey, don’t judge me–all’s fair in love and graduate school).

So here’s a hot-off-the press (so to speak) tidbit – remember when we first heard that Starbucks was going to start serving wine? Well, it looks as if they’re “going grande,” according to a story posted on the Wine Spectator site two days ago. Check out this nifty pic that Starbucks provided to get the salivary juices flowing:

Image courtesy of Starbucks

Image courtesy of Starbucks

Yes, darlings, that is a Riedel glass, and those are spicy pepitas (¡ándale, Starbucks!).

And now it’s time for a two-part pop quiz. Ready? It’s easy, I promise. Part one: Do you consider yourself a Starbucks customer? Part two: Do you like wine? I know what you said for part two, but if you answered yes for part one, congratulations–Starbucks was looking at YOU, dear reader, when they decided to go big or go home with the vino. A study showed that a whopping 70 percent of Starbucks customers are wine drinkers, so hey, why not serve wine too?

Wine selection will vary by region, but Starbucks says that customers can expect “a combination of local and regional favorites that rotate over time.” Your inner gaucho (or gaucha?) will be muy feliz to know that Malbec is in rotation.

The java giant first launched its “Evenings” menu (vino, beer and small plates) in a Seattle Starbucks five years ago. Now, the company plans to roll out “Evenings” at more than 2,000 of its 12,000 stores in the U.S. through 2019.

Among the tapas-style munchies you can expect, according to the “10 Facts about Starbucks Evenings Stores” from the company’s online newsroom, are truffle mac n’ cheese, chicken sausage, bacon-wrapped dates in a balsamic glaze, and mushroom flatbread. The company says it worked with an in-house sommelier to select the wine list.

Image courtesy of Starbucks

Image courtesy of Starbucks

Señorita Vino is still forming an opinion about a coffeehouse selling wine (turn the tables around–what if wineries started selling coffee?), but I want to hear what you think. Should Starbucks stick to what it does best (global purveyor of caffeine jolts) or is it cool that a mocha monolith is dipping its toe in the wine vat?

Let the dialogue begin!

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4 Responses to “A little #vino with your tall skinny latte? Starbucks expands #wine offerings.”

  1. dwdirwin September 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    The Starbucks in downtown Napa is going to be doing this. I think that’s absolutely ridiculous- why would you come to Napa with all of the food and wineries special to the area and then choose Starbucks to have wine and small plates?! Ugh!! Ok, I’m going to come out as an even bigger snob and say Starbucks isn’t even good coffee- if you want a coffee flavored dessert, then it’s fine, but if you like real coffee, there are other places to go here (like Ritual 🙂

    • Pamela September 12, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

      Thanks so much for weighing in, Dawn, and thank you for your honesty. I have to agree that a Starbucks in Napa will face some stiff competition when it comes to wine and small plates. I am curious about the thought process behind choosing downtown Napa as an “Evenings” locale, versus a market where wine and small plates are scarce. It’ll be interesting to see how that store fares. Starbucks is clearly looking for a new revenue stream, but my personal concern is that wine newbies will flock to Starbucks to try wine…and then stay there. For a lot of people, Starbucks is safe, familiar, and comfortable, but I want to remind future (and current) “Evening” store customers that there are a lot of options to explore when it comes to discovering wine and cultivating an appreciation for lesser-known varietals, and to patronize their local wine bars and independent wine stores (not to go on and on, but nothing bothers me more than to see Americans traveling overseas and eating at…American chain restaurants. How do you fully appreciate another culture, let alone develop your palate, if all you eat are burgers and fries?? Okay, stepping off the soapbox). And no worries about the coffee snob thing – I happen to be married to a bona-fide coffee snob and the next time we’re in Napa, we’ll certainly try Ritual! ¡Salud!

  2. jameshansen September 12, 2015 at 8:36 am #

    Great job on this Señorita Vino!!

    James Hansen

  3. Whine And Cheers For Wine September 17, 2015 at 6:05 am #

    Hoping Miami gets the “Evenings” Starbucks treatment, just hoping they don’t serve local wines 🙂

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