Finewine.com in the News
In This Economy, We Economize
Washington Post, March 18, 2009
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Business also is brisk at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg, according to proprietor Cecile Giannangeli. And though consumers definitely are economy-minded, that doesn't necessarily mean they gravitate toward cheap wine, she said.
"People who used to spend $60 on a bottle of wine in a restaurant are now eating at home, but they may still spend $60 on a bottle at the store," Giannangeli said. "Then they'll realize the same bottle might have cost them $150 in a restaurant."
Giannangeli has operated the Gaithersburg store for 10 years with her husband, Al. She recently sold her original store, Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean. But even with just one store to mind, she said, she is working harder than ever, negotiating deals with distributors and searching for wines that provide the best value. She is also taking advantage of a new Maryland law that allows retailers to buy directly from wineries that produce fewer than 11,000 cases a year, bypassing the distributor and letting her shave about 15 percent off the retail price of those wines.
Over the past decade, Giannangeli has conducted regular tastings and other events at her store, which also has a small wine bar. That work is now paying off. "People come by sometimes just because they know something is always going on," she said. - excerpt from Post Article
Score One for the Buyers Who Notice
Washington Post, December 26, 2007
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Cecile's Finewine.com selected as having the most accurate wine reviews in Washington Metro Area.
Cecile's Fine Wine, Total Wine and the Curious Grape, all in Virginia, use software to manage and print shelf talkers and garnered high accuracy rates. (Cecile's had 10 of 10 correct; Total Wine and Curious Grape, 9 of 10.) Calvert Woodley, in Northwest Washington, also posts its own shelf talkers but, lacking software, was slightly less successful, with 8 of 10 correct. "It's an enormous commitment to get it right," said Cecile Giannangeli, the owner of Cecile's Fine Wine, which has a database of about 20,000 wine ratings. "But the store is ultimately responsible. If you sell something, don't ask other people to do the work for you." - excerpt from Post Article
Building a Wine Business
Beverage Dynamics, September 2005
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New Club Teaches Women the Nuances of Buying, Tasting and Serving Wine
The Washington Post, October 16, 2003
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Maryland Retailer Boosts Business with Web Site
Beverage Retailer, May 2001
A business called finewine.com might suggest a Web site rather than a retail store. It is, in fact, both. "We've actually been selling wine for about 15 years as straight retail," said Cecile Roesch-Giannangeli, co-owner of the Gaithersburg, Md., store, which has [two] locations. "In 1995, we secured the domain name finewine.com. It began as sort of a brochure where you could just kind of browse. ... We really didn't know what to do with it and didn't really use it until about three years ago when we decided to go to a fully functional e-commerce site and we really got into it."
The Great Wine Challenge
Washington Flyer Magazine Nov/Dec 2000 - By Michael McCarthy
"Talk to McLean wine-shop owner Cecile Giannangeli for five minutes, and you soon realize that she doesn't have a pretentious bone in her body. Giannangeli states 'Don't get intimidated by all of the fancy terms. We won't laugh at you if you mispronounce a name. And by all means, don't buy a sauvignon blanc just because you think you're supposed to drink it with fish. Go with a red wine - go with anything you like. This is supposed to be fun.'"
Finewine On-Line (and In-Shop):
An age-old product gets in step with the times
Washington Post, October 2000
"Cecile Giannangeli has been selling wine to Fairfax buyers from her shop in McLean for 15 years. Why change a good thing, right? Well, Giannangeli doesn't see it that way. In reinventing her business to keep up with the demands of Fairfax's technologically-savvy buyers, her Cecile's Wine Cellar has been reborn as Finewine.com, an Internet domain she registered 5 years ago but only recently has utilized to its maximum potential. 'The wine business is very traditional,' she says, 'but I think its absolutely imperative to evolve with the changing nature of my buyers and the technology available to them.'
Fine Wines on the Web
Washington Times, December 6, 1999
Finewine.com, an electronic-retailer based in Gaithersburg, has opened its doors on the Web. Since it is illegal for retailers to ship wine over state lines, Finewine.com must be licensed in those states or have a partnership with existing wine stores in those states. The wine retailer already has a physical store in McLean under the name Cecile's Wine Cellar and will open a Finewine.com store in Gaithersburg this week.
Currently, Finewine.com has licenses in Maryland and Virginia and has partnerships with stores in the District, Florida and New York. But Finewine.com is not stopping there. Officials plan to be licensed in eight to 12 more states including California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington state next year. And the company will open physical stores in those locations, said Cecile Giannangeli, who co-owns Finewine.com with her husband, Al. Finewine.com will also continue to create partnerships with retailers in other areas.
The Gaithersburg store, which offers 400 different wines, will be an "untraditional" wine shop, Mrs. Giannangeli said. It will have computer terminals so people can shop on line at a wine bar, as well providing an opportunity to teach consumers about wine and different foods. "We're making it fun as opposed to snotty and intimidating," she said. Mrs. Giannangeli has been in the wine business for more than 15 years and opened Cecile's Wine Cellar in McLean 12 years ago. That store is now a part of Finewine.com and will eventually change its name to match the Internet name.