With a beheaded champagne bottle and a host of snacks from local restaurants, Total Wine & More opened last week in a vast space next to Costco in Mountain View.
The new beer, wine and hard liquor shop transformed 1010 Rengstorff Ave. from its former incarnation as pet store. Canyon-like aisles include wines, mead, cider and beer ranging from cases to single 12-ounce bottles. The retailer also stocks a cigar room, and a broad selection of mini bottles of liquor toward the front provides novice cocktail makers with a chance to try an expensive ingredient such as St. Germaine ($3.99 for 50 ml) without dropping $30 on the experiment.
A classroom at the back of the store and a tasting space are intended for future wine events.
The superstore, which carries approximately 13,000 products, expressly pitted itself against BevMo in its in-store advertising. Its prices on opening day rivaled or beat those of other high-volume, competitively priced alcohol merchants such as Costco or Trader Joe’s. Total Wine had broader variety than any of its competitors in some respects – beer lovers might notice a broad range from Ballast Point or Lagunitas, for instance – but didn’t yet carry much in the way of rare or seasonal one-offs from small independent breweries.
Total Wine opened its first store in 1991 and operates 155 locations in 20 states, but the chain has only recently begun to expand in California. Mountain View represents its first Silicon Valley location, with another store opening planned in San Jose’s Almaden Ranch neighborhood later this year.
“We think it’s a great wine community,” said Regional Vice President Jim Weiland of coming to Mountain View, “and the marketplace has been underserved.”
The store hosted Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg and other members of the community at an event April 12, the day before opening for business. The evening featured a quick intro to sabrage – use of a saber to open a champagne bottle – followed by a live demonstration.
Total Wines donated 10 percent of wine sales during opening weekend to Mountain View’s Computer History Museum.
For more information, visit totalwine.com