When a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriber picks up the season’s first produce package, he or she can almost always count on getting a plentiful amount of leafy greens. But there aren’t many calendar clues as to what awaits members of Monarch Wine Merchants at the store’s first Wine CSA Pick-Up Party.
“We want members to look forward to opening the CSAs as if they were kids opening birthday presents,” owner Justin Coleman says. “The whole vibe leans playful, energetic and fun.”
Each three-bottle collection, released on the first Wednesday of the month, is priced at $69.
Traditionally, a CSA requires participants to pay a certain amount of money up front, offsetting the cash flow problems that plague farmers forced to wait months to collect on the time and money they’ve invested in their crops. By contrast, the Monarch model doesn’t require any commitment from subscribers: As Coleman explains it, “We bill on the first of each month for that corresponding month, until you say ‘when.’”
Still, Coleman is calling the program a CSA, partly because of the membership component, and partly because he wants to stress that wine is an agricultural product.
And while Coleman has more freedom than farmers to choose what subscribers receive, he’s pledged to keep the selections true to the time of year.
“Selections vary in style, but they’re always seasonally appropriate, and stuff that we’re especially jazzed about,” he says.
In addition to the mix of wines, CSA members receive in-depth tasting notes, and are invited to try various bottles opened expressly for the pick-up party. “We’re trying to create a community gathering centered around a mutual admiration of wine,” Coleman says.
The first party is on Aug. 2. For more information, visit monarchwinemerchants.com.