Tess’ receives OK to sell wine & beer; launching wine clubs

Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley on Friday received the OK from state regulators to sell wine and beer, paving the way for it to launch two wine clubs, retail sales, tastings and more, according to owner Steve Rosenthal.

It is a milestone for Tess’ and represents a growing national trend, the morphing of food, wine and kitchenware retailers into “one-stop” shopping for customers. Carpe Vino in Auburn has a popular wine club, as well as a four-star restaurant and wine shop.

Tess’ Vintner Club includes a choice of two whites, two reds or a mix of one of each. The selections will be picked up every other month at the store for $29.99 starting in January.

Tess’ Sommelier Club is designed for the wine adventurer. Members will receive four bottles of wine hand selected by its experienced wine manager, Dawn Empson. The wines will come with the option to enjoy now or “save and cellar” for another time. The wines will be available at the store for pick up every other month for $89.99.

Each subscription will include the wines, a companion newsletter with stories about the wine, recipes and food pairing suggestions.

Tess’ will also sell a selection of wines in its store, displayed in a 15 foot-long space. Tess’ plans to introduce craft beer sales in April.

The store has been expanding rapidly since 2010, when Steve Rosenthal and his wife, Rachel, bought Tess’ Kitchen Store at 115 Mill Street in Grass Valley. Tess’ was established in 1931 by local Tess Hawkins. Steve is a lifelong cooking enthusiast who retired from Hewlett-Packard Co. after a successful 27-year career.

Under Steve’s ownership, Tess’ has become the largest kitchen store in the foothills, with a popular cooking school and a new restaurant-quality kitchen. It has expanded into a three-story showroom with more than 6,000 square feet of kitchen essentials.

Its Chef Table dining experiences feature a six-course meal prepared by Alan Tangren, a 22-year veteran of the venerable Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Last year Tess’ began selling artisan cheese from Dedrick’s, one of the region’s premier cheese mongers. For more information, visit TessKitchenStore.com.

(photo: Kial James)

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