It had to happen here in Michigan and especially in the Detroit area. It was originally going to happen on the west side of the state in 2020, but we know that a certain bug created havoc that year and we are still suffering the aftermath. One of the national big box wine stores finally figured out how to maneuver around the Byzantine codes and rules of the wine laws in this state, and not only that, but they also figured out how to work around the rules that apply to the liquor laws as well as for beer. While the media was deciding if two masks would suffice, the invasion began, and then all of a sudden, the media was ecstatic that there was a wine shop in our midst. The only reason that they were excited was that Goliath had deep pockets and could afford full page ads in newspapers and local periodicals. All of the (David) local wine shops that have eked out an existence and survived the draconian rules of the last year or so, who can’t pay for full page ads really did not exist.
Alright, I guess I have a built-in bias towards national big box operations, because I was in retail my entire life and for the most part, I worked for independent single store operations. I even did my personal banking with small local banks, where, believe it or not, everyone knew my name and I was able to cut through a lot of red tape on a weekly basis. I even like the old-fashioned grocers that had butcher shops that could do special requests, fish mongers that would tout what the freshest selections were and produce that was not wheeled in by bulk. Can I get excited like the media expects? Absolutely not, I have never enjoyed being in sterile environments with wide aisles conducive for hi-los. I do appreciate that they do some education for their employees. This is not to say that I have not availed myself of this operation. They are within walking distance from the casino-resort that we stay at every time we go to Las Vegas to see the children and grandchildren.
I like warm cuddly places, the store that I worked at for the majority of my career, until an eminent domain case closed us down was described by most of our customers as an old slipper and I think that is appropriate. When you walk into a shop or a restaurant and you automatically feel comfortable and at ease, is a wonderful feeling. That is the feeling that I get, when I walk into my local wine shop, and I am sure that there are other shops as well. The “David” shops of the world will survive the onslaught of these big box stores, because they offer customize service, they know what you enjoy and they can offer wines that you don’t mind trying. They are not promoting a corporate designed wine that for some odd reason tastes the same vintage after vintage. So, to be truthful, I really don’t care about the big guy, let me go in and have a tasting of some unique wines. A winery that maybe only makes two barrels of wine, is of no interest to big box, but it is totally interesting to the wine lovers.