This Valentine’s Day, the wine-soaked kisses on 15th Ave E will be even sweeter. European Vine Selections will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a one-of-a-kind wine shop on Capitol Hill.
“The commonality is we’re all wine lovers,” said Paul Taub, a Cornish music professor and one of the eight partners behind the wine shop. “It’s like a hobby business — nobody makes a living from it but we’ve never lost money either.”
EVS’s roots are in Fremont where it was founded in 1974 but its body and bouquet developed on Capitol Hill following its Valentine’s Day 1987 move. 25 years later, it’s one of a handful of wine shops in the area. But the quirky ownership set-up behind it is unduplicated.
“I don’t think there are any shops — any businesses in general — run like this,” Taub said.
Currently the partnership includes, Taub tells us, “an oceanography researcher at University of Washington, a music professor at Cornish College for the Arts, a writer, a scientist at Microsoft Research, a U.W. microbiology professor, a former bookseller and U.W. administrator, an attorney, the communications director at Seattle Center, and a writer of esoteric novels.”
Taub is now the senior partner of the group now that a partner who started back in 1972 has left the group. The partnerships go up for sale every now and then. Marketing is word of mouth only and, of course, the seven other people have to approve any new partner. There are easier routes to Capitol Hill wine shop ownership.
Things don’t change quickly at the shop. The latest new thing is the addition of a Friday night tasting to the long-time Saturday events. All tasting are free. Eight equal partners ensure a kind of equilibrium. Besides, each is also busy sharing the load of running the shop. There are no employees. When you have your purchase rung up, it’s a partner behind the counter.
“Somehow 15th Ave lends itself to having a business like this,” Taub said.
Details on EVS’s 25th anniversary and more about the shop, below. Happy birthday.
European Vine Selections Celebrates 25th Anniversary
European Vine Selections (EVS), the “Wine Shop on Capitol Hill,” announces the celebration of its 25th anniversary on 15th Avenue East. February 10, 11 and 12 kick off the year’s celebration as we look towards the next 25 years of serving wine drinkers with outstanding, affordable wines.
Join the eight EVS partners for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before Valentine’s Day for special tastings, a partners’ potluck, and visits by long-time customers and new friends alike. The shop is located at 522 15th Ave East and is open daily from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Founded in 1974 as one of the first shops to carry fine European wines in Seattle, EVS moved to Capitol Hill in 1987 following 13 years in Fremont on Leary Avenue. Long-time Seattle wine connoisseurs will remember the early history of the shop, open only three days a week, when the Washington State Liquor Control Board tried to shut the business down, claiming it was a private club, open too few hours a week to serve the public. Hundreds of customers protested to the WSLQB, and the strong showing of community support influenced a ruling in the store’s behalf.
Since the move, EVS has continued to operate as a partnership of individuals with other careers who come together because of their passion for fine wines at good values. The wine selection has expanded to include Italian, German and new world wines of North and South America. Currently the partnership includes an oceanography researcher at University of Washington, a music professor at Cornish College for the Arts, a writer, a scientist at Microsoft Research, a U.W. microbiology professor, a former bookseller and U.W. administrator, an attorney, the communications director at Seattle Center, and a writer of esoteric novels.
Join EVS, the diverse community of wine lovers developed by the founders of the shop and continued by the current partners, and customers in the quintessential Seattle neighborhood at the top of Capitol Hill in the celebration of 25 years as The Wine Shop on 15th.
For more information on EVS and its 25th anniversary celebration, please visit www.evswines.com or call 206 323-3557 during business hours.