Coffee, Chocolate, Golf… and (Of Course) Wine

iStock_000008957470LargeA few notes that are at least semi-related to our favorite subject (wine) as we near the end of June…

  • Coffee king Starbucks, which has been experimenting with wine, beer and upscale snacks during evening hours at a number of locations for several years, plans to expand the program widely. According to a Reuters report, the company believes it can increase evening sales by $1 billion via its plans for after sunset, and will add wine, et al at nearly 3,000 of its 11,900 cafes. As one Starbucks district manager told me, “The roll-out will be gradual. The speed has a lot to do with [liquor] licensing, which is largely out of our control.”
  • Wineries have the tasting room model down to a science, offering a wide array of tours, product sampling and other experiences. In downtown Napa, Anette’s brings the tasting room experience to fine chocolates, with offerings ranging from “Taste and Talk” ($5 for 10 minutes) to the “Premier Tasting” ($30 for 45 minutes). In addition to an array of chocolates and truffles, Anette’s crafts chocolate wine sauces which, by themselves, make the stop worthwhile. Learn more at: www.anettes.com
  • At the Chardonnay Golf Club, don’t be surprised to encounter grapevines where you’d simply be out of bounds on other courses. The club consists of three 9-hole layouts (called Meadows, Lakes and Vineyards), configured so golfers have a choice of three 18-hole courses. There’s also a driving range and practice facility, as well as a bar and grill called The View. Plan your wine country golf outing at: www.chardonnaygolfclub.com
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