Today we traveled back down to the Wine Master store at 4107 Macdonald Street in Vancouver to bottle our batch of “craft-it-yourself wine.” We started “crafting” this batch of wine after buying a Groupon back in the hottest days of the summer. This is the second Groupon that we have used and it is by far the best value we have experienced yet.
A Groupon, for those who might not know, is a daily deal that is put on by a company called Groupon. What Groupon does is wrangle up deals with businesses and then sell them to subscribers. It is like a group coupon…hence the name Groupon. There is usually a limit to the numbers of Groupons that they sell and there is a time frame in which you have to use it. We have found both the number of Groupons sold and the time frame that you have to use it within reasonable. The wine Groupon we bought into was $75 for 30 bottles of wine. They sold 800 Groupons. That meant 800 batches of wine. That meant that the tiny store on Macdonald Street suddenly had to deal with 800 customers who wanted to come in and make their batch of wine. We were one of those 800 customers.
When we arrived at Wine Master on that hot summer day there was no hesitation or a look of “oh it is coupon people.” We were treated very professionally by the staff who talked to us about the choices of wine that we could make. We (meaning my Sweetheart) decided on the Malbec.
And back to today, this was the day that we had to go back to bottle the wine. The bottling process is so simple! You slip two bottles under these little stainless steel lines and pull a lever.
The bottles fill, you hand them over to your bottling partner who puts it under a press-like thing that pushes a plastic cork into the top of the bottle.
After the cork is in you slip a nifty little cover over the top of the bottle, hold it inside an electric coil-like thingy for three seconds and then it is done. Ready to be labelled.
Of course the first question I asked was when is our wine ready to drink? I was told that the wines are ready to drink a couple of days after bottling but for the best quality they recommend leaving it sit until Christmas. I can handle that…although I may have to sacrifice one for science to see what it is like before Christmas.
When I asked about the shop’s Groupon experience, I was told that it has been overwhelmingly positive. The shop’s demographic had been an older crowd who have slowed in their wine-making in the last few years. The shop needed to develop a new and younger customer base. When Groupon approached them about putting on an offer, they jumped on it.
The first few days for the shop were pretty hectic; answering phones, returning phone messages and helping as many people as they possibly could who just wandered into the shop ready to make wine.
When we walked into Wine Master there was no sign that they were stressed or busy. They were polite, professional and very helpful. This is a Groupon that will definitely bring us back to their store to make more wine, thereby doing what the Groupon is intended to do, develop a new and expanded customer base for businesses while offering customers a great deal. Success before we have even tasted the wine we “crafted” at their shop!