We’re introducing something different for our Marketplace Monday feature this week. It’s a new offering for members of our Marketplace who’d like a little extra coverage here at 365Barrington.com. We’ve started production on a series of three features about Heinen’s Fine Foods, for example, that’s all about the fall & winter food and wine available in the store, throughout the holiday season.
Part One in our series is all about the new fall offerings in Heinen’s Wine & Beer Department and the two consultants there, a perfect pairing whose faces are becoming as familiar as they are friendly.
Heinen’s hired Tom French and Carol Hornick to help answer clients’ beverage questions because they each have extensive experience in wine education. You’ll find Tom and Carol offering advice and pouring wines from Heinen’s Cruvinet, an in-store wine tap featuring a regular rotation of eight bottles, which you can order from to taste or by the glass for $3, $5 or $7…
“The best time to find out you don’t like a wine is before you buy it.” Tom French, who previously owned his own wine store for seven years, takes a down-to-earth approach and says helping clients taste and learn about the different wines they offer is one of their top jobs.
“Education is a large part of what we do here because it’s all about drinking what you enjoy. It’s all about relationships. We get to the point where we know particular clients’ tastes and can recommend new things that come in and help broaden their horizons a little bit.”
So we asked Tom and Carol to educate us a little about how Heinen’s featured wines will change with the fall season. Carol says chardonnays, rosés and light-bodied cabernets have been top sellers since the store opened last month.
But now Carol says they’re preparing for a shift in tastes. “We’re transitioning from those summer, really lightweight wines to options with a little more body and a little more structure.”
“As it gets colder, people are going to want to drink something with more weight and spice that can be enjoyed with a bowl of chili during a football game or while you’re sitting around a campfire.”
To satisfy those tastes for fall’s more warming wines, Carol says they’re beginning to display and sample labels like Clos du Val Pinot Noir and Cabernet, Cambria Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Francis Ford Coppola Claret and Chardonnay and Franciscan Estate Stylus Cabernet. “It’s a $100 bottle of wine that we’re selling for $39.99.” Tom couldn’t contain his excitement about the Franciscan. “We bought the last 30 cases and it’s an ’06 Stylus Cabernet!”
And Carol says you’ll always find favorites in Heinen’s very own Vin Hunter label. “Our wine buyer in Cleveland goes out and finds a great wine and puts our label on it, allowing us to sell these bottles at great prices.”
If you prefer finding the best wines at a more affordable price, Heinen’s Bin 55 section is just for you. That’s 55 different wines, in all varieties, available for under $10.
“We don’t take any wine under $10 and just throw it in there. We taste them and make sure that, for a $10 bottle of wine, it’s going to taste more like a $15 or $18 bottle.”
They even feature rare wines on the opposite end of the price spectrum in Heinen’s wine “Lockbox” right by the Cruvinet. “It’s a great little area with wonderful wines that we can’t get a lot of, but customers enjoy.”
Carol says they have wines in this lockbox ranging from $100 to a bottle of Penfold’s “Grange” Vintage 2007 South Australia Shiraz, available for $524.
And if you prefer beer to wine, Heinen’s has you covered. Their cooler is filled with colorfully labeled and hard-to-find craft beers, with new additions seasonally.
They also have four beers on tap for $3 a glass, including seasonal brews from Lake Barrington’s own Onion Pub.
To help you choose the right beverage for your next meal, party or event, Tom says they offer regular tastings at Heinen’s called “Perfect Pairings” where they’ll be serving glasses that compliment featured foods sampled in departments like Artisan Cheese, Meat and Seafood. “For example, on a given weekend, we might be actually sampling scallops in our Seafood Department and we’ll have a wine to go with that so you can actually taste your meal before you take it home.”
And Heinen’s hopes offering a little wine to sip while you shop will help inspire your culinary creations and put a little more fun into the process of meal planning. “This is not your typical grocery store wine selection. We like to think of this as a wine store within the grocery store. We want the wine department here to be a destination for people and, oh by the way, as long as they’re going to buy a bottle of wine, they can buy some groceries while they’re at it.”
You’ll find the new Heinen’s Fine Foods store at the Shops at Flint Creek, 500 N. Hough Street, in Barrington, Illinois. They’re now open from 8:00 a.m. To 8:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Click HERE to follow them on Facebook or find them online at HeinensBarrington.com.
And be sure to stay tuned for Parts Two and Three in our Heinen’s Holiday Foods series which we’ll publish in the coming weeks. In Part Two, we’re going to be sharing details about Heinen’s fall collection of prepared entrées and side dishes that they’re going to be serving now that the seasons have changed. And you won’t want to miss Part Three, when we focus on the exciting solutions Heinen’s will be offering throughout the store for holiday entertaining. Those parties are right around the corner, and Heinen’s employees say they’re looking forward to helping bring great foods to your holiday table.