One of the things, in a vastly diverse region of great food and drink, that sets our Downtown Cleveland store apart is our unique self-serve wine station. We caught up with our Downtown Cleveland Wine Consultant to explain what’s to love about this great feature.
What makes the wine station so great?
The great thing about the wine station is that it gives you the rare opportunity to try a range of wines. Some that you may be familiar with, some that you’re curious about or some that may be a bit out of your price range when it comes to purchasing the entire bottle.
For a minimal cost the wine stations gives you the opportunity to taste a variety of wines from different regions and in different price ranges. We offer three sizes of pour which are 1 oz., 3 oz., and 5 oz., which makes it easy to sample a wine that you may not be familiar with or get a glass of something that you know you’re going to like.
Where are the wine stations?
There are 32 wines in the main station at the top of the steps, near the second floor registers.
How many wines are in there?
There are always 40 wines in the wine station and that generally includes about 20 whites and rose wines and 20 red wines. We try to keep in mind that not everyone wants something dry, some people may want something sweeter or fruiter.
You’ll always find a minimum 6 chardonnays and 6 cabernets and we try to keep 2 sweet wines like Rieslings as well as a nice dessert wine. You’ll find wines from France and Italy and other imports from around the world including Spain, Germany, Chile, Argentina and beyond. We also like to feature great domestic wines not only from California, but wines from some of the great Ohio wineries as well.
Can I bring a group for happy hour?
Yes! We encourage groups of all sizes to come visit us on the second floor. The wine station makes it easy for everyone to be able to get a glass of exactly what they want in the quantity that they want instead of sharing a few bottles for an entire group. We also have 8 draft beers available for the non wine-drinkers in your group. And if you’re in the mood for some gourmet appetizers with your wine; the second floor features our Balcony Bar that serves hot and cold appetizers and other small plates created by our in-house chef.
How long do specific wines stay in the wine station?
We try to keep wines in the station for about 10-12 days, some things are only around for a day or two due to limited quantities and we’ve had our most popular wines in there as long as 4 weeks. You’ll see about a 25% change on a weekly basis. The wine stations keep the wine fresh for over a month, so that no matter when you drink it, the wine in your glass will be as fresh as when the bottle was uncorked.
Some of the beauties of the wine station are that if we have a limited supply of a really special wine, rather than putting them on the shelf for only a few people to enjoy, often times we’ll put them in the wine station so many people have an opportunity to taste and explore these great wines.
How do I use the wine station?
All you need to do is purchase a wine station card at the registers at the top of the steps on the second floor. The cards are reloadable and can be loaded with any dollar amount that you wish. If you load the card with $20.00 or you can avoid having to pay the small $3.00 charge for the card. The cards never expire so you can use the same card as long as you hold on to it. Be sure that you don’t throw the card away when you leave, but just in case we’ll keep your information on file and we’ll be able to get you a new one.
You simply grab a glass, insert the card into the machine and choose your wine and your pour size and let the machine do the work.
Any day of the week, our second floor balcony is a great place to unwind with co-workers, catch up with friends and enjoy a glass of wine.
Do any of the other Heinen’s stores have the wine stations?
Yes, in Cleveland our Chagrin Falls, Twinsburg and Pepper Pike stores are equipped with the stations and in Chicago our Glenview, Bannockburn and Lake Bluff stores also have them for customers to enjoy. I should note, that the store where the wine card was purchased is the only store where that card will work.