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Wizers to offer fine wine, good beer

n Lake Oswego store invites customers to open a bottle of fine wine or good beer


Wizer’s Oswego Market is now closed after an epic 65-year run. But Wizer’s Fine Wines is very much in business.

Long-time Wizer’s employees Tom Reider and Jim Vincent are teaming up on a new venture that emphasizes what was always one of Wizer’s big selling points: Wine. It is right inside the old store, and you can tell Reider and Vincent mean business because they brought up boxes containing 14,000 bottles.

“We hauled up boxes and boxes of wine from downstairs,” said Vincent, a Wizer’s employee since 1976. “And here Tom is with a bum foot.”

Still, it is worth some exhaustion to provide the variety of wine to be offered at Wizer’s. Reider has built a sterling reputation as a wine steward in his 25 years at Wizer’s — blunt, honest and remarkably knowledgeable. He has helped Wizer’s acquire rare wines that are extremely difficult to buy elsewhere. But he does not like the label “specialty wine shop.”

“The demographics of wine have changed so much in the last 15 to 18 years,” Reider said. “A lot of people have moved here from California and Phoenix, Arizona and they don’t know about Wizer’s. We do have a lot of wine that is hard to find except for here. But we also want people to know that we have a lot of wine in the range of $8 to $20.”

True. People who prefer their wine on the cheaper side can pick up a bottle of Gallo Family for $7.99 or a giant bottle of Barefoot for $10.99.

“We really want foot traffic here,” Reider said. “Once we’re up and running we envision people dropping by on Thursday afternoon and opening a bottle of wine at 4 o’clock. Why not? The object is to sell wine.”

The experience of moving thousands of bottles of wine to the store’s main floor has been extremely educational.

“You make some mistakes over 25 years,” Vincent said. “We found things we didn’t know we had.”

“Once we have everything up here we’ll have a more efficient model,” Reider said.

Customers will soon be walking down aisles with rack after rack of wine. And more.

“We’re looking at increasing our number of craft beers,” Vincent said. “The beer market is exploding.”

As Wizer’s changes, Reider and Vincent are changing in order to better tap the huge demand for wine and beer.

“We want to become well versed in the social media,” Vincent said.

Should Wizer’s Fine Wines achieve success, Vincent and Reider will be doing a lot of wine hauling in the future; first, when the original store is shut down to make way for a new building project, next when the wine store moves into its new building a few years from now.

Meanwhile, Vincent said, “We want people to know we’re still here and still selling wine.”

For more information about Wizer’s Fine Wines, call 503-636-1414. Its website is wizers.com. The store is located at 330 First St. in Lake Oswego. It is open Tuesday through Saturday.



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