The West Valley adds to its wine scene.
Set to open its doors on Wednesday, August 31, Turquoise Wine Cellar and Tasting Room seeks to share its passion for wine and provide opportunities to explore varietals from around the world in an accessible way.
“It’s all meant to be a super accessible, budget-friendly experience, a way to get in and explore and come back and keep exploring because we have so many options,” owner Jen Sinconis said. “But also, the atmosphere is going to be super cool.”
Sinconis moved to the Valley from the Seattle area in 2020 and quickly realized that wine tasting options in the area were few and far between. She and her former neighbor, and now friend, Laura Hernandez, are looking to change that.
“We’re really looking for something more like an experience,” Sinconis said. “We have a lot of restaurants here that have wine lists. I’m not going to say they’re good or bad, but it’s really meant to be more of a wine experience.
“It’s just meant to bring people in and have a full wine experience that doesn’t exist here right now.”
Passionate about wine, Sinconis does not bring winemaking experience to her business, but she has taken wine education classes. In addition, she has 24 years of experience in the coffee world. She said it was “totally different, but also very, very similar.”
“You just look at farming and growing something and go through the hurdles of an agricultural product and how the weather affects it,” she said. “Also, the way you look at the tasting and the way you really feel and develop some sort of affinity for something. It’s farm-to-table.
Turquoise will offer over 250 wines from around the world at an affordable price. Being affordable is an integral part of its business model. Sinconis said most wine bars have very high wine prices, forcing customers to go to Safeway or Total Wine to buy wine in bulk.
“I like to say we’re like the neighborhood drug dealer,” Sinconis said. “Once you come to shop with us, you won’t be able to buy wine anywhere else, because you’ll be jaded. We have amazing wines, and the prices, because we go super low, on our wall are really meant to let anyone come in and explore what we have.
Besides its affordability, Turquoise’s business model is different from what the wine world typically offers customers. He separates his wine cellar and his tasting room to bring variety in his flights and pours by the glass, while offering wine by the bottle.
Bringing this model to the West Valley is something Sinconis is thrilled about. She sees Glendale and the West Valley as a rapidly growing region.
“There aren’t many great places to go and drink wine in this area,” Sinconis said. “But also, there’s not much for couples to do if you want to hang out.” You can go out to dinner… but there aren’t many experiences. So we just want to bring a place where people can come in, be part of a wine club, have the opportunity to attend events, take classes, and really bring that experience.
“People are moving here; this field is exploding,” she added. “I’m seeing people from Washington, Oregon and California moving en masse to this side of the valley, and from what I can tell they’re all having a similar reaction to what I did, it’s, ‘Oh, my god, there’s no wine.’ So I think the need is there.
Turquoise won’t stop at its wine cellar and tasting room. It will also offer mimosa flights and Sunday brunch boards, educational Wine 101 classes, and a “passport series,” where people can sample the same varietal from different parts of the world to see how geography affects the taste of wine. .
“These are things people can sign up for to have a bit more of an interactive experience,” Sinconis said.
Turquoise will also offer two monthly wine club options. The first, nicknamed “The Explorer”, produces two bottles a month of red or white grape varieties. The second, “Le Somm”, yields two bottles of red and two bottles of white, i.e. four bottles in total. Either way, there will be no markup pricing on the wine, so the price of the wine club depends on the selected wines.
Additionally, Turquoise will host optional Wine Club events once a month, where Wine Club members can pick up their monthly selections, do tastings, and learn more about the winemaker whose wine is the club’s monthly varietal.
“It will be a fun and social thing that you can do if you are part of the club,” Sinconis said. “You can also skip the social stuff and just have your wine and enjoy it for yourself too.”
Moreover, the wines that will be found in Turquoise will not be easily found elsewhere in the Valley. Sinconis said she is working with more boutique-style winemakers.
“Most of our channel partners are smaller,” she said. “We are working with more winemakers and boutique distributors. We are a very relational company. The (wines) that come into the big chains – BevMo!, Total Wine, Costco – you’re not going to find those wines with us, because that’s not the kind of business relationship we’re looking to establish.
Accessibility will also be an important element for Sinconis.
“We really focus on not being a pretentious wine store,” she said. “You can walk in and know nothing but we have red wine and white wine, and that’s fine. We will help you get there.
Although not open yet, Sinconis said the response to Turquoise from the community has been incredible. She can’t wait to open her doors.
“People are so excited and our social media is going crazy,” she said. “People are really hungry for this stuff here. I’m hopeful it’s going to be like, ‘Oh, this is exactly what the community needed.’