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Opening alert: Total Wine & More in Mountain View

Uploaded: Apr 5, 2017
Total Wine & More, which claims to be the nation's largest independent wine, beer and alcohol retailer, is opening its first Silicon Valley store next week in Mountain View.

The store will open on Thursday, April 13, at 1010 Rengstorff Ave., the company announced in a press release.

Total Wine & More stores stock more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers, including "hard-to-find labels and locally produced product," the release states. The company's website claims a typical Total Wine & More carries more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store.

Inside Total Wine & More's new Mountain View location on Rengstorff Avenue. Photo courtesy Total Wine & More.

The company also boasts low prices due to its "tremendous buying power and special relationships with producers, importers and wholesalers" that "bring us considerable savings, which we pass on to our customers," the website reads.

The store also emphasizes customer service and employee knowledge. Employees go through more than 100 hours of training (plus trips to Napa, Sonoma and Europe) to learn about wine regions, production methods, varietals, brew styles and tasting profiles, according to the press release. They also hold weekly team wine tastings and attend monthly wine-producer seminars.

Edward Cooper, Total Wine & More’s vice president for public affairs and community relations, said in the press release that Silicon Valley is an "excellent fit" for the company, which now operates more than 150 stores across 20 states. Its closest location is in Fremont.

"Our selection is so vast that we're able to offer something to every customer, and cater to specific needs regardless of taste, experience, or preference," Cooper said. "We've proven that we can satisfy our customers, from the beer enthusiast who is interested in learning more about local brews, to the more experienced wine connoisseur seeking new vintages to try."

The Mountain View store will have a "tech-equipped education center" where customers can attend interactive classes and events, according to the company. Total Wine & More stores host free weekly tastings as well as paid classes on wine, beer and alcohol and other events. People will also be able to reserve the "education center" for free as a space for community, business or social events.

Two brothers, David and Robert Trone, opened the first Total Wine & More as a small store in Delaware in 1991, according to the company website. The company is now based in Maryland.

The Mountain View store will open to the public at 9 a.m. on April 13. There will be wine and beer tastings, live music and giveaways throughout the weekend.

Total Wine & More also makes an effort to support local organizations in the communities it serves. (Over the past four years, the company said it donated more than $17 million to local organizations.) As such, during opening weekend for the Mountain View store, the company will donate 10 percent of all wine sales to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 6, 2017 at 11:37 am

Interesting to see how this will play out right beside Costco.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on Apr 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

I've used another Total Wine location in southern California several times. From those experiences, the closest competition around here is Beverages and More, and the two are still different in style. Total Wine had larger selections than BevMo (which is saying something), plus a more vertical physical layout (more inventory crammed in per square foot of floor area, so stacked higher, which gave more of a canyon effect in the aisles compared to the BevMos I've seen, which have a more open and brightly-lit look).

There was also a frenetically changing inventory. Keep in mind I'm not a regular or long-term Total-Wine shopper, so I don't know if this is a consistent feature. But for instance, I went looking once for decent-value malt whiskies. Total Wine had an eclectic selection, with many small labels I'd never seen anywhere else (after 25 years buying these products). 3-4 weeks later, literally half of that section's inventory had changed completely -- new bunches of lesser-known labels, shelving completely rearranged to handle the new product mix. (I never saw anything like that at BevMo or its predecessor chain, Liquor Barn.) A knowledgeable specialist was on hand both times to explain background of the unfamiliar labels and describe some tastes, but she seemed to be frantically struggling to keep up with the rapid turnover of brands. This reminded me of types of retail that specialize in odd lots or liquidation sales, where you never know what offerings you will or won't see on each new visit.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Willowgate,
on Apr 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Mountain View Costco had four wine stewards in training about two months ago (i met them in the wine aisle). I went to Costco yesterday and I noticed that wine was moved to both sides of the front door entry aisle. I enjoy getting wine at Costco and Safeway.

I loved the Pet Club and I sorely miss it. I will not go to Total Wine & More. I'm whining but that is how I feel.

FYI, Pet Club will open a new store in Cupertino on Homestead at DeAnza blvd. At least it is closer than the san jose or san mateo stores. But I have also discovered ...

Posted by Henry, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Aug 5, 2017 at 5:55 pm

I wonder how Total Wine doing 5 years from now in Silicon Valley. To me in California people can buy alcohol any where any time not like some other states. The traffic here is bad enough for people not to travel long distant to buy a bottle of alcohol and save a few bucks.

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