A longtime dream Paula Tuchscherer-Jones and her husband, Todd Jones, has been realized with their recent opening of Margaret & Maxwell, A Wine Salon, in Biltmore Village.
The shop in the historic bungalow has the ambience of a home decorated with vintage furnishings reflecting a classic Art Nouveau style. The walls are lined with an extensive selection of wines and champagnes. And the sweet fragrance of a large holiday tree greets customers as they walk into Margaret & Maxwell.
“We offer wines from around the world at all price points,” says Todd.
The wines in the shop, a full-service off-premise retailer, are organized by region to make them easy to locate. One room is dedicated to white wines, and a nook features sparkling varieties. Among the vast selection of wines are organic varieties.
A unique feature of the shop is the wine bar and lounge in a cozy back room. While there are area stores that either sell off-premise wines or offer them on-premise in a bar, there are few opportunities for customers to experience both, Paula says.
“We use the wine bar as a marketing and educational tool to help people try different wines,” Todd says.
It’s a low-risk way to help people make a selection, he adds.
With its comfortable sofa and chairs, the wine bar and lounge is also a good place for customers to relax, says Paula.
The idea of opening a wine salon was based on the French tradition of a gathering place for socializing and interesting conversation, she adds.
A wine list is provided for customers trying out various selections at the bar.
“Selections change on a weekly, or even daily, basis depending upon what we decide to open,” Todd says.
If customers want to try a wine that is not on the list in the wine bar, they can select a bottle from the retail shelves to be opened for a $10 corkage fee.
All wines are presented in a Riedel glass specific to the variety. Glasses with specifically shaped bowls and rims enhance the drinking experience by ensuring the wine hits the palate exactly right, Todd notes.
The shop also offers a quick-chill bottle service for customers who are planning to drink the wine shortly after purchasing it.
Paula and Todd say they chose Asheville as an ideal location for the wine shop after deciding to settle here two years ago because of its mild climate and atmosphere.
After living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for many years, the couple wanted to get out of the snowbelt and live in a warmer locale.
“Asheville feels like home. We like the artistic vibe,” Todd says of the choice to move to this area.
Both Todd and Paula have professional backgrounds that lend themselves to their present business venture. Todd worked in the corporate offices of MillerCoors Brewery for 32 years. And Paula gained experience while working in a wine shop in Milwaukee after developing an interest in learning about wines.
For those who may be wondering about the name of the shop, there is an easy explanation. The couple decided to honor the memory of favorite relatives: Paula’s Aunt Margaret and Todd’s grandfather, Frank Maxwell.
Margaret and Maxwell, A Wine Salon is at 5 All Souls Crescent. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.ashevillewinesalon.com or call 828-522-3905.