Food News

Wine expected to be a hit at Starbucks

Won't replace but complement coffee menu, sommelier says

If the menu at Starbucks looks a little different this week, it’s because you can now purchase a glass of wine.

The Seattle-based coffee house has started selling wine during the evening hours in select locations across Toronto. It is part of a new approach by the company to draw more paying customers amid slumping coffee sales.

The alcoholic beverage could be a great addition to what is already being sold at Starbucks, says Anne Martin, head hommelier at Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.

“Coffee will always be their bread and butter, but the wine and beer could add the icing on the cake,” Martin said.

Starbucks says the new initiative will be geared mostly towards its female customers. Women who do not necessarily feel comfortable having a drink at a bar can now go to a more family-friendly environment to enjoy a glass of wine.

“I know that women make up 60 to 70 percent of the wine buying population, and I do a lot of wine tasting events for women, so its certainly a great demographic to be targeting,” Martin said.

The program, dubbed Starbucks Evenings, will also include beer and a variety of tapas to complement the new selection of wines.