Chances are you’ve strolled by the entrance to Vine Styles on your way down Kensington Road – but walk down the stairs to the entrance and you’ll find yourself walking into a wine and beer lovers’ heaven. Vine Styles opened in May 2014, after a year of planning between Chief Experience Designer, Nathalie Gosselin, and Chief Vine Stylist, Darren Stewart. They are joined by Social Stylist, Selena Gaudet.
Their goal was to put a different twist on the wine industry to make it more approachable for customers to select wines that fit their taste profile.
“We wanted people to be able to choose a wine based on what their palate or tastes are, or what they’re having for dinner as opposed to the region the wine is made in.”
Between craft beer, spirits and wine, Vine Styles carries about 850 different varieties – meaning there is something for every palate. They also carry a variety of local product including Tool Shed, Village Brewery, Last Best, Park Distillery, Secret Barrel Rum and YYC Wine, which is made in France, but branded just for Calgary. The branding and packaging all takes place in France.
When asked about their favourites, Nathalie and Selena had a few to mention:
“The Evodia Grenache is definitely a crowd-pleasing wine. The Dal Cero Ramato Pinot Grigio is a great white option, it has a rose tinge to it – and you’ll find it in our ‘Mellow’ section. We also love the ciders from Uncommon – Calgary’s first cidery. They use BC fruit but their dry cider and dry hopped cider are brewed here in Calgary.”
Both Nathalie and Selena have completed their level 3 certifications of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Giving them vast knowledge of not only the products, but vineyard management, how wines are produced, aging processes and cost.
For those looking to expand their own wine knowledge, Vine Styles holds Discover your Style Days on the last Saturday of every month from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. They open a bottle from each of their styles of wines and customers can learn what their favourites are. They also offer private tastings, and often collaborate with local restaurants and winemakers.
“The walkability of the area, the constant collaboration, the people, the diversity of the shops and exciting openings or events keeps the area alive and vibrant. People truly support each other here, and we love that.”
When asked for advice for other business owners in the area they said it’s all about collaboration.
“You can’t make it by yourself so try to work with other businesses on events, and support other staff. Treat your customers well; get to know them and what they like. Work together to make Kensington better. “