Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wine World Warehouse - Seattle, WA


Where in the world is Wine World? Well you’re sure not to miss it if you happen to be driving on I-5 north. With a big red sign that you can see from the Ship Canal bridge, Wine World Warehouse (@WineWorldSEA), Seattle’s newest and largest wine store, sits right off the freeway at NE 45th St, right near the University of Washington campus. A lot of hype surrounded the opening of this new superstore, which was founded by Northwest Sommelier David LeClaire. The store claims to have the “largest selection of Northwest wine in the world”, and boy do I believe it. In just a few visits to the store, I saw several Northwest wines that I had not seen on shelves at any other stores in the area. The massive store has several unique features that sets it apart as one of a kind and poises it to become the next big thing in wine retail in Seattle.

(Wall to wall wine!)

You enter the store to an open floor plan where you immediately find the before mentioned display of Northwest wine. To your immediate right is a nice selection of cheeses, crackers, and meats, all sure to accompany any wine quite well. Walking forward a bit more, you can belly up to one side of the large tasting bar in the center of the store. This bar has the ability to host TEN (yes I said ten) different wineries or distributors at a time for tastings. The bar is split into two different bars, each facing a different side of the store. On the wall behind each bar are large flat screen TVs where information about the wineries pouring that day can be displayed. One of those unique features I mentioned about Wine World is that it will offer tastings every day of the week. On any random Tuesday you are likely able to walk in on your way home from work and taste wine before picking up a bottle to enjoy that same evening. Check out the calendar to see who will be pouring on upcoming days. These happen 6-8pm Monday through Friday, and 2-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays (unless otherwise noted).

(Need some cheese and crackers for that wine?)

(One side of the tasting bar)

To the right of the tasting bar is an area containing a pretty big selection of wine related gift items such as glasses, decanters, bottle stoppers, glass charms, and books. It was so great to see so many great gift items in this area on my first visit and I came back in a week later to get some Christmas shopping done for family and friends! On the opposite side of the store on the other side of the tasting bar is something you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in a wine store: beer. An entire wall is dedicated to a wide selection of different beers from around the world.

(Great wine related gift selection)

Wines from different regions of the world make up the rest of the store, each labeled with signs that hang overhead. Most interesting to see was the “Off the Beaten Path” section, with wines from areas you wouldn’t normally associate with wine, including Greece and Japan. Another note worthy area contained “Earth Friendly” wines, such as NSA (no sulfites added) and other “organic” wines. It’s quite apparent that this store is really trying to cater to every audience that might walk through the doors.

(Signs show you where different regions are located)

(Wines "From the Earth")

The thing that sets this retail store apart from others in the area is the private event space that sits off the side of the store area. This room has large windows that offer city views and can host events for up to 150 people. It’s a perfect sized space for private corporate events, birthday parties, or any other special occasion that might call for an awesome space with a quick source of wine next door! I look forward to attending future events in this space!

Overall, I was pretty impressed with this new wine store. It offers a great selection of wines, hosts daily tastings of some of the area’s best wineries (many of which may not have tasting rooms in the area), has an impressive choice of wine related gift items, and has one thing that those “city” stores don’t necessarily have: parking. The store has its own private lot that makes it easy to stop in and out quickly to grab the next perfect bottle. Look for the enormous red sign on the side of the building and stop in today!

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