• Cassie

7 reasons to love McKinney Wine Merchant

It's time to stop buying your wine in the grocery store! Read on to learn why McKinney Wine Merchant is the best place in town to buy your bottles, while supporting an exceptional local business at the same time.

image courtesy of McKinney Wine Merchant

1. Wine at all price points

When I first discovered McKinney Wine Merchant after moving here, I assumed it was a speciality shop that only carried bottles I couldn't afford. So I *shamefully* continued to buy wine at big retail wine stores or the grocery store. Well, when you know better you do better! I finally went in after about 6 months of living in McKinney and realized that yes, McKinney Wine Merchant does carry a variety of rare and small batch vintages for special occasions but Andy, the owner, also keeps very affordable bottles in stock. I'm talking under $20 and several even under $10.

And here's the really great thing about Andy's wines - they are all of very high quality, even the budget bottles! He carefully chooses the wines he offers his customers and won't keep a certain wine in stock if a future vintage doesn't meet his standards. Because he watches the market and has great relationships with distributors, he is able to score great deals for his customers.

For example, earlier this month he got a distributor clearance and was able to offer Henry's Drive "Pillar Box" Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Australia for $11.99 (regularly $25-28). He carries very highly rated bottles at affordable prices. You can currently find these three bottles in stock:

image courtesy of McKinney Wine Merchant

Silk & Spice Red, Portugal $12.99 [90 - Wine Enthusiast rating]

Paris Valley Road Merlot, CA $12.99 [91 - Wine Enthusiast rating]

"CS" Cabernet Sauvignon, WA $14.99 [93 - Robert Parker rating]

2. Andy

image courtesy of McKinney Wine Merchant

As an amateur oenophile (aka wine lover), I have been to a lot of boutique wine shops and several wineries around the US and abroad. In my experience the "experts" either don't know as much about wine as they claim to, OR they tend to make you feel inferior for not knowing enough. The shop owner, Andy has vast knowledge about wines around the world, yet welcomes you into his shop like a longtime friend. An ex-marine, Andy has extensive experience in the culinary and wine worlds. Having worked for Korbel Champagne, and a variety of other companies in Napa, Sonoma, and other areas across the US, he opened his own shop in McKinney in April 2011.

His mission has always been to bring carefully curated quality wine to his customers. Here's the great thing about Andy and his shop - you can walk in with no idea what you want… just give him your price range and what types of wines you generally like (and don't like) and I can guarantee he will suggest the perfect bottle for you. It will likely be something you've never heard of or tried before but every time I have placed my faith in Andy's suggestion I (and my guests) have been impressed.

3. Wine Club

McKinney Wine Merchant has 3 levels of wine club membership. The nice thing about these wine clubs is that they can be monthly or bi-monthly, and you can cancel at any time. You don't need to sign up for any particular amount of time so for those of you with a fear of commitment… this is the wine club for you!

Each wine club is accompanied by tasting notes so you can really learn about the wine you receive. I have signed up to start in April, so check in on Instagram to watch our stories as we sample our first wine club selection! (this post isn't hosted… I just love wine and supporting local businesses)

4. Delivery

Great wine, affordable price, free delivery to my home? Yes, please! You can order online or over the phone. (I suppose you could order in store too, but that would defeat the need for delivery now, wouldn't it?) Delivery is normally $15 but for now it is free on Fridays. The free Friday delivery is a promotional offer right now but *fingers crossed* it will be a permanent perk. Find all the details HERE.

5. Cab & Slab Club

image courtesy of McKinney Wine Merchant

What goes better with a bold red wine than a big juicy steak? And when the steak is locally sourced and top quality, the combo is even better! McKinney Wine Merchant partners with local butcher, Local Yocal to offer their Cab and Slab Club. For $100 per month you get 2 portions of Wagyu or Angus beef steaks paired with a bottle of red selected by Andy. The combo would normally be a minimum of $120 so you can enjoy a high quality date night dinner at home and save money with the membership. Win-win, if you ask me. Sign up HERE.

6. Location

image courtesy of McKinney Wine Merchant

In the heart of historic downtown, McKinney Wine Merchant couldn't have a better location! I will take any excuse to make a trip to the square - I end up there several times a week. Although parking can sometimes be tricky downtown (but hey it will get better when the new parking garage is built), McKinney Wine Merchant has dedicated parking spaces! If you can't find a spot out front on Virginia, just pull around back to the parking lot and look for the Wine Merchant parking signs. You'll have no trouble and will be steps away from the shop.

7. Friday Tastings

image courtesy of McKinney Wine Merchant

You had me at complimentary wine tastings. Most Fridays Andy opens a few bottles of wine for customers to sample. Just check his Facebook page where he announces the tastings, or give a quick call on your way to downtown to see if he's sampling wines. Stop in, taste some wines, then grab a bottle on your way to a BYOB spot for dinner. Perfect Friday date night plan!

All in all, McKinney Wine Merchant really is specialty shop perfection. Located in historic downtown, with a knowledgeable and friendly proprietor full of character, offering wines ranging from $9 - $300, and great extras like delivery, complimentary tastings, wine club, and cab and slab, you couldn't wish for anything more from a wine shop.