The West Valley is getting an addition to its wine scene.
Set to open its doors Wednesday, Aug. 31, Turquoise Wine Cellar and Tasting Room is looking to share its passion for wine and offer opportunities to explore varietals from around the world in an approachable way.
“Everything about it is supposed to be an experience super approachable, budget friendly, a way to come in and explore and come back and keep exploring because we have so many options,” owner Jen Sinconis said. “But also, the ambiance is going to be super cool.”
Sinconis moved to the Valley from the Seattle area in 2020 and quickly realized that the options for wine tasting in the area were few and far between. She and her former neighbor, and now friend, Laura Hernandez are looking to change that.
“We are really looking for something that’s more of an experience,” Sinconis said. “We have a lot of restaurants here that have wine menus. I’m not going to say they’re good or bad, but this is really meant to be more of a wine experience.
“It’s just meant to bring people in and have a whole experience about wine that doesn’t exist out here at the moment.”
An avid lover of wine, Sinconis doesn’t bring wine-making experience to her business, but she did take wine education courses. In addition, she does have 24 years of experience in the world of coffee. She said it is “totally different, but also very, very similar.”
“You just look at agriculture and growing something and going through the hurdles of an agricultural product and how weather impacts it,” she said. “Also, the way that you look at tasting and how you smell and really develop kind of an affinity for something. It’s farm to table.”
Turquoise is set to carry more than 250 wines from all over the world at an affordable price. Being affordable is a huge part of its business model. Sinconis said most wine bars have their wine prices at a huge markup, which forces patrons 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 shop with us, you’re not going to be able to go buy wine anywhere else, because you will be jaded. We have amazing wines, and the prices, because we’re going super low markup, on our wall is really meant to let anybody come in and explore what we have.”
Aside from the affordability, Turquoise’s business model is unlike what the wine world typically offers to patrons. It separates its wine cellar and tasting room to bring variety in its flights and by-the-glass pours, while still offering wine by the bottle.
Bringing this model to the West Valley is something Sinconis is excited about. She sees Glendale and the West Valley as a quickly growing area.
“There aren’t a lot of good places to go to drink wine in this area,” Sinconis said. “But also, there is not a lot to do for couples if you want to go out. You can go out to eat dinner … but there aren’t a lot of experiences. So, we just want to bring a place where people can come in, be a part of a wine club, have the ability to go to events, do classes and really bring this experience.”
“People are moving here; this area is just exploding,” she added. “I see people from Washington, Oregon and California just moving to this side of the Valley in droves, and from what I can tell, they all have a similar reaction to what I did, is, ‘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 brunch boards on Sundays, Wine 101 educational courses and a “Passport Series,” where people can taste the same varietal from different regions from around the world to see how geography affects the taste of the wine.
“These are things that people can sign up for to have a little more of an interactive experience,” Sinconis said.
Turquoise will offer two monthly wine club options as well. The first, dubbed “The Explorer,” gives two bottles per month of either the red or white varietals. The second, “The Somm,” gives two bottles of red and two bottles of white, or four bottles in total. Regardless, there will not be any markup price on the wine, so the price of the wine club is dependent on which wines are selected.
In addition, Turquoise will host optional wine club events once monthly, where wine club members can pick up their monthly selections, do some tasting, and learn more about the winemaker whose wine is the club’s monthly varietal.
“It’ll be a fun, social thing you can do if you’re a part of the club,” Sinconis said. “You could also not do the social things and just pick up your wine and enjoy it on your own, too.”
On top of that, the wines that will be found at Turquoise will not be easily found anywhere else in the Valley. Sinconis said she is working with more boutique-style winemakers.
“Most of our distribution partners are smaller,” she said. “We are working with more boutique winemakers and boutique distributors. We are a very relationship driven business. The (wines) that are going into the big chains —BevMo!, Total Wine, Costco — you’re not going to find those wines with us, because that’s not the type of business relationship we’re looking to build.”
Approachability will also be a big thing for Sinconis.
“We’re really focusing on not being a pretentious wine shop,” she said. “You can come in and literally not know anything other than we have red wine and we have white wine, and that’s totally fine. We’re going to help you get there.”
Despite not being open yet, Sinconis said the response to Turquoise from the community has been incredible. She is greatly looking forward to opening her doors.
“People are so excited, and our social media is just going bonkers,” she said. “People are just really starved for this type of thing out here. I’m very hopeful that it’s going to be like, ‘Oh, this is exactly what the community needed.’”