You might not see Darren in the store often at Vine Styles, but trust us when we say, we wouldn’t be here without him! He’s our equivalent of the CEO and CFO for our team and opening a shop with the style concept was Darren’s brain child. He and Nathalie cultivated that idea into a plan that ultimately became Vine Styles. Join Darren in Kensington as we celebrate our second anniversary on May 6th and 7th.
VS: What inspired you pursue the style concept rather than the traditional approach of selling wine by geography?
DS: I never understood why wine shops made it so difficult to buy wines. I wanted to create something that not only made it easier to shop for wines, but also helped people appreciate what the wines taste like. Organizing wines by “taste” seemed like a logical way to do this.
VS: You’re on the road a lot, either for business or pleasure, what city do you love wining and dining in the most?
DS: NYC…hands down! There are so many unique, independent, ethnic, and many times, family-run restaurants. The wine shops are also amazing. In particular, Bottlerocket in the Flatiron District is one of my favorites – they organize their wines by themes and food pairings (ex: Seafood, Beef, Organic, etc.) and definitely inspired some of what we do at Vine Styles.
VS: Speaking of travel, you just returned from a trip to Panama with your wife and daughters, what’s the next big adventure?
DS: Not sure. After working in industry for over 10 years, my wife was recently accepted to do her PhD so we don’t have anything planned at this point. That being said, we definitely have a travel bug so I’m sure there will be something on the horizon.
VS: What is something most people don’t know about you?
DS: I’m actually MUCH taller than I look… 🙂
VS: What bottle of wine (or beer) has been your favourite so far this year?
DS: Typically, I would consider myself to be “wine style agnostic” (I understand that this could be interpreted to mean that I enjoy wine too much!) although I tend to drink more white wines than reds and CRISP tends to be my go-to section. My recent favorite is the Recolte Blanche from Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery in Creston BC – it’s a very delicious & refreshing white blend.
VS: Let’s say you had a day with your family, no meetings, no cellphone ringing, no soccer practice to get to – what would you love to do?
DS: Spending the day in Canmore is a good start. My wife & I are originally from Nova Scotia and, even though we grew up near the Atlantic, we’re still in awe every time we visit the mountains. Going for a hike with our twin girls, walking around the town, watching the girls do rock climbing lessons at Elevation Place, relaxing in a hot tub with a view of Three Sisters (while enjoying a glass of wine, of course)…these are all favorites of ours when in Canmore.